Thursday, December 31, 2015


Christmas 2015 has come and gone. It was another good one spent with family and friends. I wanted to share some of our pictures and memories.

The end of November found me bringing all of the Christmas decorations down from the attic. This year I decided enough was enough. I have collected our decorations over a great number of years and this year I decided I was going to get out everything and go through it. I ended up taking three loads of things to Hillcrest Thrift Shop. The last trip volunteer Dana said, "Aren't you through yet?"  

This is what my living room floor looked like... (it took two pictures.) Before I forget...if you would like to see how I organize/store my Christmas tree ornaments, you can see my DIY here. 

This is what it looked like after I was finished...

Downstairs in my husband's domain...

Here is a close up of my old-fashioned Christmas tree. All of the ornaments are ones that I made (that's how they started out), gifts, ones made by my mother and my auntie, and the ones I kept that belonged to my mother. The felt wise man in the center was on our first tree (along with the other two and at least one camel). 

Mo Grandchildren thought the tree was cool. He saw Donald Duck and wanted to know where Mickey Mouse was. (Fortunately Mickey was there.)

We celebrated our Christmas with our MO family on the evening of the 23rd and then attended church with them on Christmas Eve.

 Then the next morning, Christmas Day, we were off to CO to spend Christmas with our older son and his family.

At Mimi's with my husband's sister and her family.

One last view of Pike's Peak...until our next visit.

I am looking forward to making many more memories with family and friends in 2016 as God blesses me every day with His love, His mercy, and His grace.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


I'm loving these cookies that you mix up and then store them in the refrigerator or freezer to slice and bake as you wish. I mixed these butterscotch cookies and added them to the collection I took to the firemen for my Advent Random Acts of Kindness. The recipe is another one from my from Amish and Mennonite kitchens cookbook.

I don't know what the firemen thought, but we like them. Because the dates aren't cooked before adding them to the dough, you don't always get a nice clean cut when you slice the cookies (if you hit a chopped date).


1         cup butter
1         cup brown sugar
3-1/2 cups flour
2        eggs
1         teaspoon soda
1         teaspoon cream of tartar
1         cup chopped dates
1         cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar together til creamy. 
Add eggs and beat well.

Sift dry ingredients together and gradually add to creamed mixture. blend well.

Stir in chopped dates and nuts.

Form into rolls on a platter. (I used my cutting board covered with a little bit of flour.) Cover and refrigerate overnight.
(I wrapped mine with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer.
I took them out about 30 to 60 minutes before I was going to bake them.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice thin
(I lined my cookie sheet with parchment paper.)

and bake 8 to 10 minutes
Remove and finish cooling on wire rack.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Friend Cassie posted a link for these Monkey Squares on Facebook saying they were delicious. When we went to our younger son's house for our Christmas on the 23rd, I thought I would try the recipe since I had some bananas I needed to use before we left to go to CO to spend Christmas with our older son and his family on Christmas Day.

I omitted the nuts because grandson Tyler has a nut allergy. I 'm glad I did because I ended up taking some of them to CO where my granddaughters there also have nut allergies.

Cassie was correct when she said they were delicious. It is definitely a recipe worth trying more than once.


1-1/2    cups sugar
1           cup sour cream
1/2       cup butter, softened
2          eggs
1-3/4   cups mashed bananas (It took 5 of mine...they weren't real big)
2          teaspoons vanilla
2          cups flour
1           teaspoon baking soda
3/4      teaspoon salt
1/2       cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1/2       cup butter
4          cups powdered sugar (I did sift my sugar before measuring)
1-1/2    teaspoon vanilla
3          tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a jelly roll pan (15 x 10 - inches)

Beat together the sugar, sour cream butter, and eggs til creamy.

Blend in bananas and vanilla for 1 minute.

Add dry ingredients (I combined these together first in a bowl) and blend for 1 minute.

Stir in nuts and spread in pan.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. (20 minutes was plenty for mine)

Cool slightly til warm but not hot and frost with frosting. (I let mine cool about 10 minutes and then started preparing the frosting.)

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat 
until it is boiling and a delicate brown. 

Remove from heat and immediately add the powdered sugar and vanilla and milk. (I had this ready to add before I started melting the butter because I didn't stop stirring it until I added the rest of the ingredients. I didn't want the butter to burn.)

The end result is supposed to be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting. Personally mine was more like frosting. I didn't add more milk, but if yours is too thick, I would suggest doing that.)

Using a spatula smooth the frosting over the top. The frosting will be easier to spread once it's on the warm bread. (I didn't find this to be the case, so maybe I should have started preparing the frosting as soon as I took the pan out of the oven. It was good anyway so what do I know.)

Source The Welcome Mat

Monday, December 28, 2015


This is the other cookie I made when our Quilters' Canasta group met at Friend Fran's house recently. I wanted to take a variety and since most people seem to like oatmeal cookies, I decided to do these easy ones.

They were very easy because I used one of those package mixes for oatmeal cookies and just added my own ingredients to them. It made about 3 dozen cookies so that was just perfect. (I had to leave some at home for my husband. He liked them the best, too.)
You can see them and the other two cookies I took at the end of this post.


1         17.5 oz bag Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1         stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened not melted
1         tablespoon water
1         egg
1/2     cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2     cup white chips
1/4     cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the mix, butter, water, and egg in a large bowl with a spoon. Dough will be stiff.

Add the cranberries, white chips, and nuts.

Drop by a cookie scoop on an ungreased cookie sheet or parchment lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake 11 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet before removing them to cool completely on wire rack.

Store in a airtight container.

Here is a picture of the three cookies I took to share.

From left to right: The Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, Cranberry-Orange-Almond Shorbread Cookies, and Marion Smith's Molasses Cookies