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Monday *b* list…

We had one of the best Christmases ever. Very laidback, with the focus being on the time spent with loved ones, a few surprises and good food. I felt like I had a little more energy than some years. After the feast we put on for Christmas Eve, some years we’ve been exhausted by the end of the night and find it hard to recover on Christmas Day. This year, I woke up on Christmas Day rested and ready for round 2. We did things a little different this year and I have to say that I enjoyed it. With the season of life that Tom and I are in, I feel like it’s really important not to be set in our ways and let our kids who have little ones let us know what works best for them. To be honest, I do recognize that I probably wouldn’t be very happy to change our Christmas Eve plan, but on Christmas Day, we’re open to whatever works best for everyone else.

I didn’t take as many photos as I wish I had, but I’m happy that I have a few. I didn’t hand off my camera even once, so again, I am non-existent in the photos. I hope some of you were smart enough to do what I didn’t. I was happy that I caught Brooke in a few shots this year…she’s usually pretty elusive.

Here are a few shots-

img_4450-web The Jesus birthday cake is a highlight for all of us….but the kids are really into it.

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We typically light and blow them out several times…

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img_4497-web He was exhausted, but didn’t want to stop playing.

img_4504-web Nook and Ipod Touch. I’m a little jealous : )
img_4510-web She helped so much with our Christmas night dinner.

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img_4528-web All in all, it was a great Christmas!

I wrote about the local home with the amazing lights and the fact that I forgot my camera the night we took our annual Christmas light drive. Well, Tom and I went back out there a few days ago with my camera…this time I forgot my big lens, but I think you can get the idea. It’s breathtaking in person. If you are in the Fremont area, it’s on Rosedale Road, north of town. Grab yourself a Starbucks and take a little drive!

img_4406-web Since I’ve been such a slacker with posting lately, and particularly with the *b* lists, I thought I would post one on a Monday, instead of Tuesday.

*b* list -what’s making me happy lately

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I’ve wanted to do something like this with my mom forever! I just knew that she would be an inspiration to lots of people. The funny thing about the post that I wrote for JBS, is that I didn’t include the whole story. So for the “rest of the story”, here you go: She not only lost the use of her primary hand, she also lost the ability to speak communicatively. Her ability to communicate was hugely effected by the accident. Some people think that means she could write her thoughts, but that’s not really the way it works. Her ability to communicate goes deeper than just her speech…it’s a brain injury, so it’s not her voice that limits her, it’s the connection between her thoughts and her ability to communicate those thoughts. Hard to comprehend. I would be such a mess, but not her…she has this amazing attitude and just gets on with life. But there’s more, she was also diagnosed with mesothelioma. She goes in for chemo treatments every week and about every 3-4 months has to have fluid removed from her chest. She still stays positive. I know that the reason for her attitude is her deep faith. She doesn’t waver. Her strong faith has carried her through more than most people will ever know. I just thought you might like to know that there’s much more to her than I was even able to share. Thank you for your comments and encouragement to her. I just saw her and my Dad, and I think it has made their day! By the way, my Dad deserves a shout out too. He has stood by my Mom’s side unwaveringly through all the struggles in the past 25 years. His stability has made all the difference. I have the utmost respect for him and how he’s handled everything with Mom. The verse, “the two shall become one” describes their relationship through thick and thin, perfectly.

  • These is My Words. I’m only a little bit over halfway through this book, but all I want to do is read! If you like historical fiction with a great love story, you need to read this book. My Goodreads go-to girl, Renee said that this is officially one of her faves of 2008, so I knew I needed to read it…and as always, she hasn’t steered me wrong! She recommended, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Year of Wonders and The Help. Loved all of them. If she recommends it, I will read it! On a side note, I received an Amazon gift card and a Barnes and Noble card and I am happy, happy!
  • Narnia, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We finally saw it last night! There were only 6 of us in the theatre…gotta love a small town. We both enjoyed it very much. There are quite a few movies out right now that we would like to see…after a long spell of not seeing anything.
  • Holiday Food. On Christmas Eve, we kept up our recent tradition of prime rib. I used to make a beef roast, but the prime rib was such a hit, I don’t think we can go back. I made prime rib many years ago on Christmas Eve, but since it’s a little pricey for a crowd, had let it go for a lot of years. Well, we’ve decided it’s worth the splurge. Here’s my sweet friend Julie’s no fail directions:

Julie’s perfect prime rib

Set prime rib out for 1 hour or until room temperature

Cook meat in a preheated 450 oven for 1 hour

Shut oven off – DO NOT OPEN

Leave in oven for 4-5 hours (we prefer medium rare, so we made it 4.5 hours….and might do 4 hours next time)

Turn oven on to 375 and cook for an additional 30 minutes

Take out and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

We had Brooke’s amazing mashed potatoes, scalloped corn, rolls, a green leafy salad and Jesus birthday cake/Red Waldorf Astoria. On Christmas morning, we had fruit slush, egg casserole and Brooke’s homemade cinnamon rolls. That evening, we had these delish sandwiches, which I had recently at my friend Becca’s and couldn’t stop thinking about them, broccoli cheese soup (I used smoked gouda and cheddar) and for dessert a yummy pumpkin spice bundt cake (Jennifer ordered it from the adorable new shop, Nothing Bundt Cakes and it was sooo good!) and more Jesus cake. We ate well. I’m only up about a pound, so I’m not too sad about that!

  • Pottery Barn sale. This morning I checked to see if the rug that I’ve been jonesing for, was on sale yet…and I was soooo thrilled to see that it was not only a little on sale, but instead of $399, it was $199! AND, I had a large gift card, so I didn’t have to pay a dime! Happy, Happy! I love their frames too and lots of them are on sale as well. If you have a gift card, I strongly suggest you get online and check it out before things sell out!
  • Sheryl Crow’s Christmas CD. I bought it last year, the day after Christmas and listened to it for the first time this season. I adore this one. We listened to it over and over. Plus, it’s pretty and I’m always drawn to things visually. I highly recommend!

Short, sweet list. I would love to hear what’s making you happy these days.

Have a great Monday!

God bless!

Keshet - Your parent’s story is so beautiful–we should all be blessed with faith and a marriage like that!

Karon Henderson - What an inspirational post! Your mom is certainly a gem; such a positive person for sure!! Your parents sound like mine; we are certainly blessed :-)Have a blessed day!!

Renae - Thank you for sharing your Mom’s story Becky. The strength of the human spirit always amazes me. Your mother reminds me so much of my grandmother who I still think of everyday. I have no doubt your mother is so proud of you also! So glad to hear you are reading These Is My Words. It makes me want to read it again. Happy New Year! (and thanks for the reminder about the pottery barn sale . . ) Renae

Kamie Mielke - What a beautiful picture of your mom. Their story and the love that they have for each other is so nice to hear in this day and age. I happen to know they raised a beautiful daughter too. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in this case Becky. You’re words and pictures are always inspiring to me and I always feel so good when I am here. Thanks for making my day!!

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