We celebrated Peter’s 8th birthday on Monday, December 21st. We let him pick the restaurant, and he chose Pappadeaux specifically because of their birthday song. The lyrics are: “This is your birthday song. It’s not very long.” He enjoyed his favorite banana pudding for dessert.
I got a haircut on December 20th. Here’s what it looked like! As an aside, I’m wearing my glasses because when I got down to my last pair of contacts before needing to return to the eye doctor for a checkup, I tore a contact lens. Augh! Of course, I put off going to the eye doctor for several weeks, so I was stuck in my glasses in the interim.
This year, I decided to participate in the KSBJ Giving Tree for the first time. The radio station’s listeners could nominate folks they knew who had a need at Christmas. The needs were posted on the website and others in the community could volunteer to meet those needs.
2009 was a hard year for many people. We continued to be blessed with good health, good jobs and a steady financial situation. Every year at Christmas, I hear about the Giving Tree on the radio, but I never felt called to participate until this year. I looked at the needs, which were many, and narrowed them down to 2 or 3 in our area that captured my heart. I presented these to Hubby for his consideration, and we ultimately chose a man and his teenage son. The wife/mother had died several years ago, and the father got laid off this year. He had recently found a job that paid less than his old job and required a long daily commute, but at least it provided some income. They had been selling their furniture at garage sales just to put food on the table. Their needs were basic — clothing and food.
When I contacted Eden, the sweet young woman who nominated the family, she told me that others had stepped up to provide clothing, but that there was still a need for food and basic cleaning supplies. I agreed that we could provide that. One big shopping trip to H-E-B later, the back of our SUV was filled with non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, a grocery gift card, and even a couple of Best Buy gift cards as a little something extra.
Later that day, I drove the items to Eden’s house to drop them off. I made a point to tell the boys that the house where we were going was only 10 minutes away and very near where I grew up. I wanted them to understand that people in need are all around us — even close by.
Eden delivered all the gifts to the family the next day. She said that in all the years she had known him, she had never seen the dad get emotional, but he was almost in tears over the gifts they had received. He told her that they had not been able to purchase groceries in several weeks. Our family has been blessed many times over, and I’m thrilled we were able to share that with one of our neighbors in need this Christmas!
We have found that making our own pizza at home is more economical, more healthy and at least as tasty, if not more so, than ordering out. The boys are die-hard cheese pizza eaters, but have recently started to flirt with adventure by eating pepperoni on their pizza.
…he would apparently look like this. The kindergarteners had to decorate a paper doll in their own likeness for a school project. This is how Jacob’s turned out.
For Christmas, I baked up some holiday treats for friends. Here are some Chocolate Mint Marvels from the cookbook, Treasures from the Bend, Rich in History and Flavor. These are so easy and yummy. The cookies are made of butter, brown sugar and chocolate chips all melted together to form a gooey, scrumptious mess and bound together with some flour and other dry ingredients. When the cookies come out of the oven, you stick an Andes mint on top and, when it melts, spread it around with a knife and let it cool. Delish!
On December 14th, we made another Star Wars recipe: Yoda Soda. Read about it here. Jacob looks happy in this picture, but that was before he tasted the drink!