Friendly Friday 12/31/10

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way for everyone to get even more traffic to their blog.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

Colleen at Shibley Smiles and her husband have three adorable kids, and she says that “Her life, her love, her laughter is her family!” In her “Kids Say the Cutest Things,” she tells her daughter that maybe she got her coal for a gift. Hubby says that the daughter doesn’t know what coal is, to which their daughter replies, “Yes I do, it’s a store! Kohl’s!” Colleen also features giveaways & reviews, health & fitness posts, memes, and much more.

Tina at Family Literacy and You focuses on close family relationships through faith, reading and activities. She’s an Educational Consultant with Usborne Books and More, and Tina gives reviews on different books, learning packs, and reading activities. Book fairs, grants, and conferences for parents on “Raising Kids to Do Hard Things” are also some of the things you can read about on Family Literacy and You.

Tami at Little Moments Like This has been married to her childhood sweetheart for nine years, and they’re thrilled to be expecting their first child this next summer. They live and love the military life and currently live in Africa. Tami writes about their everyday life, blessings, adventures, and her interests include being an animal lover, educator and avid reader.

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Menu Plan Monday 12/27/10

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas weekend with family and friends. We had a wonderful time with our son who is home from college and my 89 year old mother-in-law. (My husband is the baby of the family.) I did something different this year by buying a 3-pound turkey breast roast and cooking it in the crock pot with a can of chicken broth, a little butter, a little EVOO, about 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and about 1/4 teaspoon of minced onion flakes. It was so moist and tender, and I think maybe the best we’ve ever had. And it was sooo easy. Much, much easier than doing the whole turkey. Have any of you ever cooked a turkey breast roast before? What do you think about it?

Here’s our menu of the week. Notice the Mexican food twice – my husband and our son both have colds, and spicy food tastes so good to them!

MONDAY: Beef Enchiladas & black beans

TUESDAY: Left-over turkey & dressing, frozen veggies

WEDNESDAY: Chicken Tortilla Soup (with a can of red kidney beans added)

THURSDAY: Fast food (we’re busy that day)


Wishing You Peace & Joy This Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

My Christmas wish for you is that you may find a place where you can take a break from the hectic pace this time of year, a place of peace and quiet where you can reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. I hope you can get a cup of your favorite coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and just sit and be still. If you have a chance, here are some Christmas songs with videos to help focus thoughts on the reason for the season…the reason for the joy of the Christmas season which is the birth of Jesus Christ!

New Car

Do you know anyone getting a new car for Christmas?  If so, then they will be busy checking out car insurance companies. I don’t guess I’ve ever known anyone who received a car for an actual Christmas present, but I have known those who got a car for a graduation gift.   Sounds like a really nice gift to get a new car, whether a new “used car” or a brand new car!

Busy, Busy!

This week has been so busy for most people, and for some it’s to the point of being crazy and hectic.  They don’t have time for insurance quotes, reading their favorite book, or anything that’s not directly related to Christmas.  We’re pretty much (that’s a Texas saying I guess, I don’t know how “much” could be “pretty”) finished getting ready except for one more quick trip to the store.  Hope your day is relaxed and enjoyable!

Stay Warm!

It’s so cold today!  It’s the kind of day that a lot of people get all warm and cozy under an electric blanket or in front of a nice fire in the fireplace.  We’ve been having lots of hot chocolate and hot peppermint tea the past couple of days to stay warm, and I have a delicious spice mix that I bought at Central Market to add to apple cider for a warm drink tonight on Christmas Eve.  There are lots of ways to stay warm on a cold day!

Family Dollar Winners Give to Homeless

Family Dollar awarded their Family Dollar Holiday Dream Dash Contest grand prize winners with a free holiday shopping spree recently: “The Hayes family of Nashville, Tennessee grabbed as many $5 toys and gifts and other holiday items as their shopping cart could handle, in just ninety seconds, filling up on items that will be donated to the Nashville Rescue Mission.”  How awesome that the Hayes family donated their winnings to the homeless.  That’s the true spirit of Christmas!

Christmas Song: “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” (new version) by Sara Groves

I really like this new version of  “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” which has a completely different melody from the old one. I like the old version, too, which is what I’ve known since childhood, but this one is so beautiful!  This new melody has almost an angelic quality to it which emphasizes the phrase “hear the angels sing” in all three verses. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Child Care

Choosing the best child care for one’s children is an important aspect of being a parent. There are some good child care facilities and some that aren’t so good. A good babysitter should have training in babysitter safety. The American Red Cross offers an American Red Cross Babysitter Class that would be excellent for those in child care.

When our kids were little and growing up, we never had to leave them at a babysitter. I’m thankful that my parents were able to help keep each of our children when they were little.  Our grandchildren go to an excellent preschool that has well-trained and loving staff members. They have cameras in the classrooms but not because they’ve ever had any problems. The cameras reassure parents that their children have the best of care. As you can see, it’s important for parents to research and do their homework. Then they can choose the best child care available for their children.

Thankful for Electricity!

Have you ever experienced having no electricity? It’s awful! We depend on electricity for so many things, and it’s easy to take it for granted and not realize what a blessing it is in our lives. A teacher friend was telling me how she did without electricity for several days during a winter storm. She didn’t have any honda generators so she stayed in bed with piles of blankets and got up only when necessary. That’s definitely not fun and I hope we never have to experience that!  I am very thankful for electricity!

Why I Don’t Bake Cookies Every Week!

The holidays are a time when I usually gain at least five pounds.  I think I’m doing OK so far and haven’t gained but maybe a pound, so there’s no need for Lipofuze or anything like that.  One thing that has helped has been the fact that I’ve done very little baking of sweets.   I’ve baked cookies once, and I realized it’s a good idea I don’t bake cookies much.  Fresh baked cookies right out of the oven are too hard to resist!  If I baked cookies every week, I would definitely gain at least five pounds.

Personalized Gifts

Have you ever had personalized jewelry?  I remember having some as a child, and I thought it was very special.  Several years ago, a friend gave me a key chain with my initials on it which was a thoughtful gift!  Maybe part of what makes a personalized item special is the fact that it’s unique, and the person giving the gift had to go to extra effort to get the gift personalized.  What about you?  Have you ever had anything personalized?