22 December 2010

Tickled pink!

I am just giddy with excitement this week with no more graduate classes until mid-January, a break from work until the first Monday of next year, spending free time with my very favorite gentlemen, and preparing for Christmas. 

Peppermint Cheesecake
Michael helped me to mark the last day of class as we created a new holiday dessert for his party at work ... 
This is an obvious signature dessert for the son who has been crunching on candy canes since he was a toddler. I believe his love of peppermint is tied to his infancy when he would cry as he tried to burp but that bubble was stuck in his tummy. A few swallows of a special bottle would relieve all of that ... just some warm water that had been stirred with either a candy cane or a toothpick dipped in peppermint extract. After sipping from that bottle, he would burp with ease and turn back into a happy baby. Now, he makes a lovely peppermint cheesecake...next time with an Oreo crust, from what I hear.
Chad's Reindeer

Friday we had another fabulous date night. I love that Chad and I go out on a regular date night every week. I took him to Pursuing Picasso's the week before and we got to pick up our pottery. We each painted a holiday plate (see pictures from the night we painted). They turned out so cute! I'm also thrilled to have recently found a great blog with dating ideas.
Connie's Snowman

Yesterday I got to wander around the library with a couple of my gents as we searched for some great books to read just for the fun of it. It's been much too long since I've had time to read for pleasure and I'm absolutely thrilled for that opportunity. Then we did a little shopping and I found the perfect gift for my mother quite unexpectedly ... I can't wait to see her open it. I'm equally as excited to watch the gents open their special packages that have been hiding in their secret places, but I don't want to give away any surprises so that's enough said.

Doughnut Tree
This morning I shopped with my hubby and we finished picking up the last of the small items we need for our annual Christmas Club party on Christmas Eve. Rather than feeling like a chore to mark off the list of things to do, I enjoyed every minute of it. Oh, and I had to pick up an item that used to appear regularly on my daddy's wish list, just for memory's sake. It will be fun to see his expression when he opens that one too. I even found the base piece we needed so Chef Kodi can build a doughnut tree that he saw on Food Network. (Only Kodi has planned some improvements, of course.)

Yesterday I was thrilled when the lovely lady that I am privileged to visit teach actually called me for a small and simple service project ... a quick trip to the store to get some essentials for her little family while they were feeling under the weather. I love to visit with this dear friend but she so rarely asks me for help that I was ecstatic to be able to do this simple thing for her. 

I went back for a visit today and we ended up talking much longer than I had planned. Before heading over to visit with my friend, the gents helped me to make some adorable reindeer cupcakes to share (along with some orange sherbet push ups for those still recovering).
Reindeer Cupcakes
I loved the visiting teaching message this month about the temple and family history work. The message states, "The Lord has promised that your hearts would be turned to the fathers so that the earth would no be utterly wasted at His coming (see D&C 2:2-3)." But, what does "utterly wasted" mean? I've always thought of that phrase as a warning ... as in the earth will be completely destroyed. Then I considered what a loving parent might say to their child who is idling away their time instead of being actively engaged in more worthy pursuits. The parent might encourage the child to consider the amazing things they are capable of but that currently their life is being utterly wasted because of the choices they are making. Then there is the concept that the earth itself has a specific purpose that would be frustrated if this important work is not accomplished. I love it when the spirit helps me to understand the multiple meanings in the scriptures that make them so much richer. It simply takes my breath away.

Tonight, I heard from one of my young friends that her father has consented to letting her be baptized. This is such exciting news since she has been wanting this for some time. I am ecstatic that she and her younger sister will be able to partake in this blessing. I can't wait to see them dressed all in white. My friend's mother and step-father are also making a special visit to the temple in St. Louis next week that makes this news even sweeter. 

In fact, another fine young man that our family has known for the last 12 years or so will also be getting baptized in a couple of weeks while he is home from college for winter break. 

In addition, yet another dear friend will be getting married next week in the Nauvoo Temple.

This all adds up to one amazing time of year for sure!

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If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!

If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!