25 Day Christmas Treat Countdown, Baking, Comfort, Cookies, Holiday, Home, Recipes

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

25 Days of Christmas 

Day 12

This is one of my go to recipes when I am pulling cookies together for Christmas cookie platters. It is also good if you need a cookie for a cookie I exchange program. They are simple and delicious.

Ingredients

1/2 c butter

1/2 c creamy peanut butter

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c packed down sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 bag Hershey’s Kisses

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the first 5 ingredients; then add remaining flour and mix until you form a sticky dough. Roll into small balls and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until just golden brown. Place unwrapped Hershey Kiss in center of each cookie, while they are still hot. Makes approximately 48 cookies.

🍪

Happy Baking! 

Disclaimer, the attached picture is not a thumbprint cookie. I have not made mine yet, but when I do I will update my picture then.

Holiday, Journal Journey, Journey, Life, Parenting, Update, Weariness

The Mother of Many Tasks

Journaling Journey 

It has been a busy past two weeks. I found myself lost in the physical day to day and did not take the time to process any thoughts I may have had along the way. 

I found myself not only being a nurse but found myself also being a motivator and a teacher again. My Kiddo found herself up against a rock and a hard place in trying to meet important deadlines to finish her college classes from where she fell behind while experiencing the hardship of her two-month-long migraine and then finding herself extremely sick with this ugly month long cold. 

I tried to encourage her that she was stronger than she thought she was and to help her to see the confidence I had in her, for herself. I helped to read some of the work to her, as the magnitude of reading she had to do was intense and a migraine now just was not something that could happen. It could not, it was not an option. 

I found myself being a  “nurse” to my daughter again because she is going on four weeks of being sick with an ugly cold and now my husband, who lost the entire week of work last week, has it as well. 

Her cold took a significant turn for the worse over the long Thanksgiving Holiday and so that set her back in her classes by a few more days as well. It is hard to focus on homework when you have a sinus infection, pink eye, strep throat, and laryngitis. 

Thankfully because she communicated with her professors along the way, they were more than accommodating, and so I, as her mom. was extremely thankful. 

This is a side note, I am a happy Mom now, as she just told me as I was writing this, that she just submitted the final project to one of her classes thus officially completing another class for this semester. Now she will have more time to work aggressively to finish up another one due this week. 

Next weekend will officially begin our “joyous” holiday season. The stress of classes will be behind us and the fun part of Christmas can begin. We can start our Christmas shopping, baking, and movie watching and even more so when the school she works at shuts down for the Holiday.

I know between her being sick and stressed out, it is hard to have my Holiday cheer completely intact. It is hard to find the time to bake my goodies and shop for presents or make homemade gifts, when we are running back and forth to doctor appointments, taking her to work as well as running errands. 

Thankfully I was able to get the house decorated inside and outside, so our home is festive, but the emotional joy of the season has been on hold and will continue to be until Friday. 

We have declared next Monday as our day of celebration. We have set a goal for completion as all her classes have to be done and turned in between now and Friday. I feel that we can celebrate together, since I bore a lot of the stress of her being sick and behind this semester. 

Between the tears that have been shed for the intense physical pain (that almost hospitalized her) and the anxiety of being behind in her classes, we have earned the right to celebrate together. 

It is my hope and desire this week will be a bit easier on us. I seriously need my family to get well again. Especially since now they have successfully shared this crummy cold mess with me. I do not have the time or energy to be sick as well. I am just praying that if I continue to have the mind over matter philosophy to this that it will go away quickly. I am trying very hard to not recognize it and if I do not, then it won’t get as bad as it is trying to do.  

With all of this being said, I need to complete my thoughts and get to work on a couple of orders we have for our business (@HL&E Designs). I am carrying a huge burden to get them done and delivered to their respective customers.  

Thank you for patiently reading my journaling journey of random thoughts. It truly does help to release what I am thinking through writing my words down in a safe place. 

It is my hope and prayer your week is a pleasent one and that you too are able to find some Christmas joy in your heart.  

Until I write again…  Have a calm and refreshing day. 

25 Day Christmas Treat Countdown, Baking, Fudge and Candy, Holiday, Home, Recipes

Peanut Butter Fudge

25 Days of Christmas 

Day 9

This is a recipe I received from an Aunt of mine years ago.

I make it yearly as a way of remembering her and the time I spent at her house while growing up.  

Ingredients

2 heaping Tbsp peanut butter

2 c sugar

1/2 c milk

1 tsp vanilla

nuts (optional)

Directions

Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, boiling for 5 mins. After coming to a full boil, remove from heat and beat until thick.

Pour in a buttered pan, cool, and cut into squares.

(I have learned over the years to never make fudge on a rainy or humid day. It will not set properly.)

25 Day Christmas Treat Countdown, Baking, Cookies, Holiday, Home, Recipes

Gingerbread Men

25 Days of Christmas

Day 5

I used this recipe yesterday to make my little guys. This recipe is passed the taste test of my family and my husband’s coworkers.

They are soft and absolutely flavorful.

Here is the link to the online recipe I used,  Eileens Spicy Gingerbread Men

Happy Baking!

Ingredients

1/2 c margarine

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c molasses

1 egg yolk

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured  surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost and decorate when cool.

Side Note: This picture was taken last year as a tribute to my daughter who was days away from having foot surgery. She had been in a foot boot since July and so to have a Gingerbread Man with a foot injury seemed appropriate in our home. 

25 Day Christmas Treat Countdown, Baking, Comfort Food, Cookies, Easy Recipe, Fudge and Candy, Holiday, Home, Recipes

My Daily 25 Days of Christmas Recipes

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my faithful followers. 

Last year, every day I posted a favorite holiday recipe that I make every year from now through Christmas. These are fun and easy recipes to make. Many are ones you can enjoy making together as a family while some are ones you can throw together for a fun and festive snack your kids can come home from school too. 

I love many of these recipes because if you have your Christmas lights up and your music playing in the background, then you have the smell of these coming from your kitchen, you have set your family up for some beautiful memories of Christmas’ to come. 

I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I do. 

Happy Baking!!! 

Anxiety, Broken, Challenge, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Holiday, Journey, Weariness

Trusting God Through The Storm

Christmas Encouragement

December 29, 2017

As I close out the day I am praying this will encourage someone else who may be struggling like us.

Tonight is the coldest nights of the season for where we live and our furnace broke. I tried calling the repair man but they are so busy, the soonest they can get us in is tomorrow late morning to afternoon. That seems so far away when I think of how cold our house will get. I am just praying our pipes don’t freeze because we don’t need plumbing problems too.

First thing in the morning I have an appointment to get my car inspected and I am praying and trusting God will protect us from any car repairs right now. We can’t have anything go wrong with that too. Then there is my husband’s truck who also needs an inspection and it won’t pass because he needs a couple of things done to it. We don’t have the money for all of this.

Where does all the money come from as we are looking at these big expenses? It is so scary, but yet it shouldn’t be. We are to have complete trust in God because He knows everything at all times. Nothing is a surprise to Him despite it being one to us. When I was at the hardware store tonight I just felt God telling me to be calm and trust Him. The hard part was I asked God to protect us for tomorrow’s vehicle inspection. I had no idea within a few hours that I would be adding my house to the concerned list for the night.

The emotional pain and pressure is great. Tonight my heart is so heavy. We can not catch a break from struggling. Today all I could think of was wanting to start a new life journey to form a better, more secure, and happier life, however I have learned from the past, often times life gets harder in the form of challenges to test our skills in how to handle adversity.

This is not what I want to happen because all I have lived since 2012 has been adversity. This is why I am exhausted, frustrated, and weary. I cringe at the prospect of any more hardships coming our way. Then there is this tonight.

Trusting God, trusting God, trusting God, He has a plan even though we do not.

I wish I had the words of encouragement to speak to those of you who are struggling with similar circumstances.

I’m at a loss to come up with the words when my heart is empty tonight. The only thing I know and believe works all the time is prayer. My prayer tonight is for us both and that God will meet all our needs. I know He will protect us both from the scariness of what lies ahead.

Hugs my fellow struggling friend! We will get through this trying time! Hang in there!

Anxiety, Broken, Burn out, Challenge, Character, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Depression, Discouraged, Journey

Coping With Hardships During The Holidays

Christmas Encouragement

December 22, 2017

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Not everyone experiences the joy of the season. There are many who are just wishing this time away. I know many who are just saying, “Let me go to sleep and wake up December 26 or better yet, January 2, 2018”.

Do you know anyone who is experiencing any of the symptoms below?

There are many reasons which cause hardships during this time of the year which contribute to this discouragement and depression. Some of these reasons consist of:

  • Loneliness, whether you are single or a widow.
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one or close friend.
  • Financial hardships, when you battle a lack of funds all year long, this time of the year causes even more discouragement and stress because you can not share gifts with your loved ones like everyone else.
  • Relationship hardships, is your relationship strained between your spouse or parents or additional family members? This strain can become intense due to the stress and strain of the holiday season.
  • Health issues can be extremely hard whether by you or a loved one. If there are health issues in a family, this can add strain to those who love this person. I know so many families who have been touched by the ugly word, cancer. There are many who are experiencing this great difficulty but struggle even more so this time of the year when the joy of the season are expectations whether financially, emotionally, or socially that a sick person dealing with health issues are not able to perform. This can cause great discouragement and stress which makes life even harder then what it already is.

As I have observed some of these difficulties above I have also learned of the following coping strategies to survive these next few days. Consider doing some of these if you are struggling with depression this time of the year.

  • Be mindful of your personal struggles and accept them. Do not ignore them because of societal standards.
  • Be sure to get your sleep. Sleep deprivation is extremely hard on your emotions and can cause them to run out of control.
  • Maintain your daily routine. Routine is important to keep you mentally stable and physically grounded to what is “normal” to you.
  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated. A change in your diet or dehydration can cause changes in your body causing these emotions to be more enhanced.
  • Maintain your exercise routine if you have one or consider walking to produce your endorphins which will help battle against the discouragement and depression.
  • Do not consume excessive alcohol or drugs in order to cover up the pain of the Season. This will only cause bigger issues that will make everything worse then what they already are.
  • Find a friend who understands where you are or what you are feeling. There is comfort in finding others who understand your pain.

There are many more strategies to cope with this difficult time of the year and I hope you have something that works to make the next week a little more bearable.

If you know of anyone who is struggling this time of the year, reach out and share some extra love, compassion, and understanding with them. They need it.

Hugs to each and everyone of you who are struggling to get through this season. You are not alone, there are many who find themselves sharing the same emotions.

Christmas Note of Encouragement, Encouragement Today, Holiday, Journey, Kindness, Life, Motivation

Opening Our Hearts To Others

Christmas Encouragement Today

4D5963C5-7EAE-4998-978B-64249BFCF97EDuring this busy season do not forget to take the time to be a friend to those you love or show a simple act of kindness to the stranger on the street.

The simple random act of kindness can leave the biggest impact on the person who is in need of it. Consider opening your heart and be that person this year.

 

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas. ~W.C. Jones

Showing your love and kindness doesn’t come with a price tag, but is the greatest gift you can give someone this holiday season.