Angel Boy

This is, hands-down, the cutest, funniest, weirdest ornament ever…


Merry Christmas

We’ve been trying to simplify this Christmas. Boil it down to what it’s really about. In searching for things to share with the kids, I’ve come across several interesting, well-done videos. I’ve passed these along on my Facebook page, but I know that not everyone enjoys going on there. So, I’m cross-posting here.

Enjoy. And Merry Christmas.

Retooning the Nativity (Igniter Media):

The Digital Story of the Nativity (Excentric Media):

A Social Network Christmas (Igniter Media):

Jesus and Santa (Igniter Media):

As you can tell, I like the work that IgniterMedia does. You’ve probably viewed some of their work at your church. If not, pass along their link to your pastor, or church media people.

Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Ok – so the internet won’t bake your pumpkin pie or fix your over-dry turkey, but there are plenty of resources out there that can help you do it yourself and make it through the day without downing the entire bottle of rum you purchased for your dessert cake.

Some of my favorites are:


This site has lots of recipes, including several by Paula Deen. Most are twists on old classics. Be sure to also check out the articles – many are non-food related.

What’s Cooking America

Don’t judge this site by it’s ‘cover’ – it’s not the prettiest site, but it has a lot of really useful information. Answers some of the most common questions: How to roast a turkey, but also how to smoke and BBQ/grill a turkey and defines Turkey Terminology. Looking for variations on common T’day dishes? They’ve got ‘em.

The very first page has links for Stuffing 101Turkey 101Gravy 101Rolls 101 etc. If that isn’t enough information for you, check out this page for articles on The Top 10 Thanksgiving Problems – Solved! (including what to do about dry turkey!!!) and the always useful list of Holiday Helplines.


I love that their products help make clean-up easier. You’ll find lots of tips on their site including ways to avoid over-browning, cooking with limited oven space and how to cook two turkeys at once.

Ocean Spray

I think this may be my favorite site of all, for Thanksgiving usefulness. I can’t even begin to list all of the information this site has packed into it. Some of the highlights: help for the Top Thanksgiving Terrors, a holiday planning book you can prepare and print out (based on the recipes you want to prepare), crafts (using cranberries, of course), and family fun (including a kids table menu).

Remember: many companies are on Twitter as well, and most will be available on Thanksgiving to help with any cooking issues that arise.
Some  companies on Twitter
Kraft Foods
Land o Lakes
Ocean Spray

What resources will you be using this Thanksgiving? Share them with us:


Christmas, where are you?

 (originally published December 21, 2007)

I’m usually very transparent on my blog. I figure, if I can’t tell it to a group of strangers who I probably won’t know this side of Heaven, who can I tell? It is harder, now that I know some of you and have established friendships with many of you.

That’s my round-about way of saying that I’ve gotten a little more opaque lately and good at keeping things more fluffy.

Not today. Today, I am hurting and trying to work through some things. I know that as I write this, I will keep wrestling with myself, telling myself to just delete it, once I write it and get it off my chest. But I wonder if others can relate?? So, I’m rushing through it, misspellings, poor sentence structure and all… before I can change my mind.

The best way to explain, is to sum up how my morning went:

Abbie was allowed to not wear her standard school attire to school today because she has had no violations in her dress this year. The note home said “jeans and/or a holiday shirt”. Abbie had no holiday shirt. She was upset, but she worked hard to get over it. I was frustrated because I would have loved for her to have a holiday shirt. But, even a cheap one wasn’t in the budget. I raced her to school. She got out of the car and ran towards the school.

Suddenly, she went down. And landed in thick gooey mud… I got her to the door and then raced home to get her clean clothes.

In the meantime, her teacher called and said that Abbie was crying and embarrassed. My poor, sweet, forlorn girl.

And I barely had enough gas in my car to drive back over.

I started crying because of the frustration of the gas, the no-holiday-shirt, the mud and the child trying to be okay with it all.

But I wasn’t okay with it.

Why? Because this Christmas we’ve struggled with getting presents, let alone extras. We’ve got medical bills that have to be paid and we are still trying to take care of bills that went to collections when we lived in Maryland. We’ve been poor stewards of our money in the past. We’ve been trying to catch up from our year of constant errors and times are especially lean. When we do have extra, it’s like a gorging feast that gives you indigestion when it’s all over. It’s not frivolously spent – but in the lean times, our list of things we need when we have extra money grows longer and longer.

So I’ve cried this morning. I’ve cried for my daughter who is so sweet and tender and wants to be wearing a cheery Christmas shirt at school today, but isn’t. I’ve cried over the fact that were it not for other family members thinking of us and sending gifts, the tree skirt would be showing all of its un-hemmed glory. I’ve cried over the simple frustration of day-to-day life.

And then I remember Jesus.

And I remember His words.

And I remember what He gave me and what He did for me.

And I remember that Mary and Joseph and the shepherds didn’t have festive holiday attire at that first Christmas.

Rather, they were in a smelly, cold stable. And it was still the most perfect Christmas in the history of the world. No festive lights (other than that shining star), no shiny bows and trimmings, no Ho Ho Hos… 

The Gift that was laid in that manager so long ago is still my gift. It is far better than anything that could be under our tree or that my daughter could be wearing to school. Because of Him, I am redeemed and justified. And no one can snatch me from His hand.

Not bill collectors.

Not grumpy holiday shoppers.

Not advertisers that tempt me with all of the things they say will make my holiday perfect.

I am beginning to remember the real reason for this Holy day. The reason my home is decorated and presents are wrapped.

And I’m praying my heart will be filled with His peace and love.

And I pray the same for each of you.

Merry Christmas, friends!

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

~ Luke 2:8-14 (the Message)

2008: A Year in Review. of sorts

As I went through my old posts to do a simple Year In Review (basically taking the Title and First line from the first post of each month), one question kept crossing my mind: I write some dang good stuff! And everyone and their brother and mother and dog should be reading my blog. ;0)

These obviously aren’t my best posts, but it was fun to scroll through and be reminded of the events that took place over 2008.

If you’ve been reading me throughout the year – thank you for putting up with me. I’ve grown to love each of you for your encouragement and for “just being you” with me.

For my new readers – welcome! I can’t wait to get to know you! And if you really want to know more about me, this is a good place to start.

Here’s to an amazing 2009!

January 2008

WhatThe?! Week 5

Leave your guess in the comments.

WhatThe?! is the now defunct contest that I used to hold on my blog… there was no grand fanfare; no closing ceremony, no crying… it just sort of faded away as things got busier and busier for me.

I enjoyed running the contest, but it was so hard tracking down the people who won each month. I cringe when I think of the people who didn’t hear from me (GREAT BIG “L” on my forehead). And the response to it was rather… ummm lacking… (thank you, my 3 loyal participants)

February 2008

Not An Episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Two years ago this week, we moved to Tennessee.

I still love reflecting on this time of my life. So much was learned and it’s never far from my mind. And I am also so thankful to be out of that apartment.

March 2008

Portraits of Women

I love looking at paintings in galleries.

This video amazed me. But as I looked at it again, I couldn’t help but notice how much our definition of beauty changes over time.

April 2008

WhatThe?! Week 17

Want a chance to win some super fab jewelry?

see January above.

May 2008

Capturing Motherhood in a Photo

I adore this photo.

Where has the time gone… seriously. I entered this photo in a contest that wanted to see photos that captured motherhood. This photo speaks this to me in volumes. I’ve now got it framed and sitting by my bed.

June 2008

Drink the Coffee [or else]

Few things earn an eye-roll from me more than stupidity issues that provoke silly behavior that gets worked up into stupidity silly behavior and craziness.

The dust up of Rachel Ray wearing a SCRAF caused me to take up the cause and post about other offensive scarves. [eyeroll]

July 2008

WhatThe?! Week 30

Want a chance to win a blog button for promoting your blog?

Dang there were a lot of months in 2008 that started on a Thursday! (the day the contest went up each week)

This particular WhatThe?! photo caused me a TON of embarrassment. tons. I addressed it here.

August 2008

Q&A Frump Style

So I’ve got some questions for you.

And people actually replied!! I have missed doing fashion and beauty posts – I will have to get back into the swing of those. But again – no one participates. So is it worth it?

September 2008

Where you’ll find me

As mentioned previously, my kids and personal hygiene have been neglected for the past week.

This was the relaunch of Blissfully Domestic, from its humble original beginnings, to its new fancy digs. So much work went into and we learned a lot about what it really takes. But the end result was fabulous. (and then we all slept for a month)

October 2008

No Wonder I look Like a Hag

Text above:

Wow – what an exciting way to start a post. Actually – this was a post in a series of vintage ads that I posted. I have several more where that came from. Advertising and manufacturing takes some freaky creepy directions at times.

November 2008

*original post removed*

We’ve started something new and fun over at Blissfully Domestic: a linky post where you can add your posts from the prior week – share your favorite tips, your cute crafty idea… anything that is Blissfully Domestic related.

We are always thinking of fun exciting ways to expand Blissfully Domestic. 2009 shows no signs of slowing down either.

December 2008

So This Girl Walks into a Blog and Makes a Big Announcement

While it may appear as though I’ve been missing on the blogging scene – the truth is that I have had my hands ALL OVER it; just in the background.

This was a big huge fat deal for me. I launched my first big solo blogging adventure! I have huge plans for in 2009. Be sure to give me your feedback and what you would like to see me write about. I want it to be a useful site.

I can’t wait to see what 2009 holds. Here’s to new friendships, true friends and living life together.