gifts

Life Lately.

corrietenboom

What I’m reading: Shiloh Autumn, by Brock and Bodie Thone

What I’m listening to: I Get To Be The One, by JJ Heller

What I’m watching: The Drop Box

Blog recommendation: Skies of Parchment

Today we’re enjoying a snow day. Being at home with family is my favorite.
So far today we have:
• played piano (on our new/old baby grand!)
• ate our first dutch baby (YUM!)
• had Sunday School (hello Daniel and being committed to praying)
• sang too many songs to count
• painted with watercolors while listening to relaxing music
Still left to do:
• take naps
• finish blogging
• play in the snow

We’re enjoying our day, and hope you do too!

Simple Christmas Decor.

As promised, here are pictures of the simple Christmas decorations we put up around the house. I enjoy decorating so much. This year I was determined to keep the Christmas decor simple and meaningful. I had a tote and two boxes full of Christmas decorations. I have since whittled it down so that everything fits into one tote. The rest will be going to a thrift store or sold at my garage sale next year. The Winter purging is starting early this year. 🙂

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Have a joy-filled Christmas, friends!

Simplicity is Freedom.

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It’s the most wonderful time of year. Some years I feel like doing it all. Decking the halls, baking all kinds of goodies, buying/making gifts (galore), sending out Christmas cards, and anything you could possibly think of. And it’s fun! Other years, it feels a little forced and overwhelming. What if all the doing is robbing you of joy? Maybe not even robbing you of joy, but making you feel overwhelmed and more than a little grumpy. I’m sure a few of you have grown children and you have plenty of time (am I right?) to bustle about in busyness. Are you finding joy in doing it all? Some of you may be single, not a care in the world (right again?!) and also have so much time to do everything. Are you finding joy in doing it all? I’m guessing there are a few mama’s with little children. Ah, someone who relates! When the days are long, but at the same time have a way of flying by. At the end of the day you sink exhausted into bed and wonder what you accomplished that day.

This year I’m taking a little break from all the doing. Our decorations are staying simple (pictures coming later this week), our presents are quite puny, but our joy is still here! There is also much freedom in saying, “Hey, I don’t need to do it all!” When I hear “Mom, can you read this book?” I will more than likely say yes. I should probably sweep under the table after lunch, but I don’t (unless it’s absolutely horrid). I’m guessing you understand. I play more with L. lately. I get the house with the blue garage door and she gets the schoolhouse with a manger scene. She gets lemon meringue and strawberry shortcake and I get a mouse and two little puppies. It’s okay, my puppies each have a separate bed.

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This is often my daily view when I look down. I’m not complaining, I love my little side-kick. We’ve had many adventures, whether it’s on top of the washer while I iron or beside the stove while I cook. Sometimes Mom is very loved.

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So with all the extra time on my hands…..oh wait! Somehow these days fill right up. Time seems to have a mind of its own. But every day I try to say yes to reading another book and squeezing in more snuggles during the day. I’m doing the best I can, and so are you. If you find yourself doing it all, WAY TO GO! Keep going! If you’re like me, and would like a little break…TAKE IT!

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“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” – Margaret Young

Simplicity is freedom.

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cookies

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I know Valentine’s Day was a while ago. I’ve been slowly working on the blog again, and wanted to share my all-time favorite cookie recipe. If you know me, you know cooking isn’t my thing. I don’t mind it, but I don’t love it either. Baking on the other hand, I’m pretty sure I love it. 🙂

This recipe was passed down to me from my Mom. Every Christmas, and special moments in between we would make these buttermilk cookies.
Ingredients:
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
6 c. flour

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Cream butter and sugar together.

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Measure buttermilk, add baking soda and let it set.

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It helps to have a cute kitchen helper to stir things.

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Add eggs and vanilla extract.

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Cream that together well. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.

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Add some flour.

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Then add some buttermilk.

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Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk until everything is combined. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.

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On a floured surface, roll out the dough. Obviously not all the dough at once.

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Cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutters.

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I like my cookies thin, but you can make them thick too. It just takes longer to bake if they’re thicker. Put the cookies on ungreased baking sheets. Bake the cookies at 350° until the bottoms are starting to brown. I don’t have a specific time because my cookies are usually all a little bit different.

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Let the cookies cool.

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Frost the cookies with your favorite frosting. I like to use buttercream.

American Buttercream Frosting:
1 c. butter, softened but still a little cool
4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. milk

Whip the butter for about 8 minutes. I am not kidding. It turns white and fluffy. Add a little powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Combine and add the rest of the powdered sugar. Whip the frosting as long as you like. You literally can’t ruin this frosting. Add some food coloring if you want tinted frosting. Sometimes I think the frosting is a little too buttery, so I just add a bit more milk and powdered sugar.

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Let the frosting harden a bit on top before packaging. These are fun to wrap neatly and give to friends or people who drop by. Often when I make them, I package a few to give to the next person that drops by. It is a fun way to bless people.