Monday, December 31, 2012
Kinley was supposed to arrive in January 2012. Instead, she arrived on December 30, 2011. She crashed our little family Christmas that was supposed to happen that evening. Instead, we opened our family presents on January 1, the day she came home from the hospital. (Yes, she already had presents under the tree and plenty of "stuff" in her stocking without Grandma having to do a bit of last-minute shopping.)
Friday, December 28, 2012
My brother had the right idea. Instead of trying to capture the moment with a still camera, he was shooting video. I think there were eight cameras in the room. From seeing what the other people have posted on Facebook, I don't think anybody got the perfect posed photo of four great-grandchildren under the age of 2 1/2.
|1994 - The first year with all seven grandchildren|
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
|Stained glass window at the Cathedral of the Plains, Victoria, KS|
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9: 5-7
May you have a blessed Christmas with family and friends! I saw this video, The Cross in Christmas, on another blog. It has beautiful photos and the song When Love Was Born performed by Christian artist Mark Schultz, who is a native Kansan and K-State grad. Enjoy! It's definitely worth the listen to put you in the Christmas spirit!
Christ the babe comes in Christmas as Christ the Savior comes on the cross - seeking only our embrace.
I'm taking a few days off from the blog for the holidays. Enjoy your time with family!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas
if you stop opening presents and listen.
The changes are evident on my side of the family, too. Today is my Mom's birthday. The annual birthday photo with Grandma and the grandkids was first complete in 1994, the year Madison was born. It was tough to capture all the faces in the photo. That hasn't gotten any easier.
|Braden, Neelly and Great-Grandma|
Friday, December 21, 2012
At a discount store, I saw a snack mix that had rice squares and mini pretzels. Some of the pretzels were coated with white almond bark and some were left naked. Yes, naked.
It was packaged in snack-sized little bags, so I bought one. There really wasn't much to it. So I decided to make some for a few homemade gifts from the kitchen.
I purchased the micro-mini pretzels at Glenn's Bulk Foods. They are the perfect size for this mix. Of course, it seems everyone has rice squares in their arsenal at this time of year when party mix is prevalent. Likewise for the almond bark.
I simply melted a whole package of almond bark. (I use my microwave, taking care not to burn it. I usually melt it at 70 percent power for 1 minute at a time, stirring well after each microwave session.) Then I poured in a little more than half of the one-pound package of the mini pretzels and added rice cereal until I thought it was just about right. I wanted enough to give a nice coat to all the pretzels and cereal. This is not an exact science, people. After stirring well, I poured in a little more of the rice squares. Obviously, it's easier to add cereal than take it out.
I poured it out on waxed paper to set up. After it hardened, I broke it apart as much as I could without crunching cereal into bits and then stirred in the uncoated pretzels. Just for fun and color, I added an ingredient not present in the purchased mix - a bag of Pretzel M&Ms.
I packaged the mix in holiday bags and delivered the goods.
There are a couple of differences between the homemade snack mix and the purchased version:
- The packaged snack mix was less "clumpy" than mine. From watching shows on the Food Network, I suppose they had a machine that shook the excess almond bark off the dry goods and gave it an even coating. Since I don't have one of those handy-dandy machines, the clumps don't bother me.
- My version is less costly. I bought the tiny bag of snack mix for $1. A comparable amount of my homemade version would have cost just pennies to make - even with the addition of the pretzel M&Ms.
1 package of white almond bark
Rice cereal squares
You could use colored candy discs for melting. For example, I'm thinking that using purple for part of the coating would be a good substitute for a Fiesta Bowl snack mix. I could keep part of it white, and use purple with some of the rest. Then, add in some purple, white and gray M &Ms, and you'll have a party.
You could also use different kinds of M & Ms or different cereals. Make it your own. The possibilities are immeasurable - kind of like this recipe.
For those of you who, like me, are usually very conscientious about measuring, try these snack mixes. They really do make speedy - yet tasty - gifts from the kitchen.
(This one is from my dietitian daughter, and it's better for you than my other versions.)
(There's also a recipe for Cinnamon Chex Mix at the same link.)
for a refreshing, non-chocolate snack mix
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Sunrise through a snowy fence - December 20, 2012
The magic of winter is coming
No matter how tight we hold onto fall
With each passing day
Autumn drifts further away
And in its place is winter's embrace
Lighting the path
to snowmen and sleighs
And sweet candy canes
Bags full of toys
And songs full of joy
The anonymous poem was posted on Facebook a few days ago. The illustrations are mine. For so little snow overnight, the wind certainly made for big drifts. Miraculously, some even stayed on the fields, despite blustery winds. We are thankful for any moisture we get!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
They burrowed into our wheat field on one side of the road and, on the other, dug next to the electric fence where some of our cattle graze. The holes were sunk at least 3 feet into the ground.
We got less than 0.10 inch.
Snow is in the forecast today. We appear to be on the border between a trace and some measurable snow. But, with the wind howling, I doubt much stays on the fields anyway.
So, the drought continues. Maybe I'll get some good photos. There's always an upside, right?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
On Saturday, it came tumbling down. The Dev Nelson press box at Kansas State University's Bill Snyder Family Stadium was imploded to make way for the new west addition. (My Facebook friend, Jeff Sutton, posted this video of the implosion. Thanks, Jeff!)
As a student intern with K-State Sports Information during his undergraduate years, Brent probably spent nearly as much time at the football stadium and in Bramlage Coliseum as he did in the classroom. In truth, the K-State Sports Information job was the biggest classroom of all. He got to be on the front lines when ESPN's College Game Day came to town (a thrill for a guy who lives and breaths college sports.)
He had a birds'-eye view from the press box during K-State football games for two years, where he got to see his childhood hero, Bill Snyder, return to the stadium that bears his name.
|The west side stadium construction at a game this fall.|
As I read news reports about the implosion and saw the photos from my nephew, Brian, who was one of some 1,500 people watching in person, I was struck by this one sentence in a press release:
It was also fitting that following the initial blast, the 600-plus fans watching from the east side of the stadium could read only three words on the collapsed press box: "Bill Snyder" and "Family."Family: Yes, that's what it means - whether it's the Dev Nelson press box or the new version that will rise up from the dust of the old one.
My parents, my brother's family and one sister sit on that side of the stadium, too. I'll have to use a different landmark to find them with my binoculars next fall. I've always started at the "K" in Kansas and worked my way downward to find their row.
I know a spot that I love full well ... No matter what it looks like now or in the future.
Monday, December 17, 2012
But, for some reason, there was no ballgame scheduled. Instead, with a December school calendar packed to the brim, it allowed the music department a chance to squeeze in a concert.
As I walked into the school Friday night, I saw the brightly-painted Christmas backdrop and the glittered snowflakes, and I thought, "This is what a school is supposed to be about."
This is what school is supposed to be: It's about three girls in reindeer antlers. It's about the three boys in full elf regalia who couldn't make it through their trio without cracking up. It's about a diminutive, 80-pound-soaking-wet Santa who didn't need the old guy's heft to flawlessly deliver the rhymed patter during the Cool Yule program.It was about those kids who weren't the stars of the show, but who just stood on the three-tiered risers and sang and danced along.
That's what a school is supposed to be on a Friday night.
It's not supposed to be a place for a candlelight vigil, mourning the deaths of 20 innocent children and six brave educators.
It makes no sense.
It will never make sense.
Those little children likely wouldn't have sung "Away in a Manger" at their school's Christmas concert. But I'm guessing that some of them would have dressed in cardboard angel's wings or pulled on their Dad's bathrobe and become the vigilant shepherds surrounding a short, blue-robed Mary and staff-bearing Joseph as they gazed down at a baby doll Jesus in a crude manger at their church's Christmas pageants this weekend.
These words come to mind as I try to wrap my head around this tragedy:
Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever,
And love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven
To live with Thee there.
On Sunday at our church, two grade-school-aged boys, their parents and their cousin lit the third Advent candle. Here are some of the words they spoke:
Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I will say, rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7
We light a candle to help us remember that Jesus is near. The peace of God will keep us in Christ Jesus.
Prayers for Newtown, Conn. ...
Prayers for the heroes, some of whom lost their earthly lives ...
Prayers for the grieving families ...
Prayers for the survivors whose lives will never be the same ...
Prayers for the first responders and all the helpers ...
Prayers for our country ...
Prayers for the world in which Kinley is growing up ...
Prayers for us all ...
***Today, I am linked to Michelle DeRusha's Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday feature. You will be blessed to visit there and read thoughts from bloggers of faith from across the U.S.