Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rather Exhausting Week!

This past Sunday I guess you could say -to some degree anyway -that the Christmas Season kicked off here in our little town.

Sunday morning was hectic as all get-out, trying to get both kids dressed and myself showered, dressed, hair-dried and finding my envelope box for the offering too -all to get out of the house and cover the 4 miles from home to our church and get there on time. But we made it and with only one close call of coming near to tears from Maya! Remarkable!

Pastor Carrie tried her best to have a nice children's sermon with the kids gathered around her but it was really obvious right from the start that Kurtis had his focus elsewhere and it was strictly to keep announcing to her, over and over, that he was "Gonna see Santa this afternoon at the Moose!" And yes, that was true enough as that was the game plan to take the kids to the Children's Christmas Party Sunday afternoon at the Moose -something that my Mom would have cringed to even think about much less allow me to go to such an event.

Of course, when I was a kid, things were different then. The day Santa showed up at the Moose meant you got in line, walked through and Santa handed you a box of Chocolate drop candies and out the door you went! Even with that brief amount of exposure though, that was something I secretly attended with other kids from the neighborhood and I don't think I ever mentioned to my Mom that I was going there to see Santa or told her that I'd been there either for that matter. The Moose, back then, at least in my Mom and my Grandma's eyes was the equivalent to a house of ill repute ya know!

But these days, the leadership in the Moose really does go all out to try to have a fun party for the kids with games, pizza, cake, candy and soda and yes, of course, a chance to see Santa!

Here's Kurtis -along with another little boy from our church no less -busy coloring as they waited for Santa's arrival.

And here's Maya, stuffing her face with sprinkles while she waits for Santa too!

This year there was a bit of a surprise with two extra special guests attending. The two reindeer here are local celebrities of a fashion around the towns in the area between Thanksgiving and Christmas and have been for many years now. Let me introduce you here to Rudolf and "Little Rudy." They had a pretty busy schedule Sunday as they had to make three appearances that afternoon and evening. I don't remember where the one place was they had to be but I did hear that when they left the party at the Moose they were on their way to participate in the Christmas Parade up at Irvona -which is roughly 40 miles from where we are located! Hope the sleigh was all gassed up and ready to roll for them!

Anyway, their appearance was quite the big thing Sunday -especially so apparently for Kurtis who was geared up to meet Santa but unprepared to have these two reindeer there two. As he was in line to see Santa, he told Mandy he didn't "Want those reindeer to touch me!" When he finally got to Santa, he wouldn't talk to him, but did eventually manage enough courage to give him a high five! Maya shook Santa's hand. Don't know if she actually spoke to him or not though.

So needless to say, by the time the kids (and Mandy and I) finally got back home we had two really hyper children on our hands -high on junk food and candy. The good thing was that they both went to bed quite easily that night as they were pretty well worn out and so was I!

Monday afternoon and early evening I started my baking for the holidays. Using a recipe from our church's new (and really neat) cookbook, I made nut rolls. The recipe had been contributed by the granddaughter of a lady who had lived about four doors up the street from me and who was known around the area for making a very good nut roll. So I decided to give the recipe a try and to my very pleasant surprise, it all went together quite easily for the bread dough. The recipe made enough dough to make 6 nice sized rolls and I filled two with apricot filling, two with almond filling and the last two with poppyseed filling.

As I was preparing the first rolls -with the apricot filling -Maya appeared at my side, asking what I was making and I told her these would be apricot-filled rolls. She asked me then what apricot tastes like and I told her to go ahead and put her finger into the filling and get a little tiny bit of it and then to taste that. I was surprised that she did that as normally, any suggestion to try something new is met with a turned up nose and a response of "I don't like that!" But this time, she really surprised me when she said "Mmmm. That's really good Gram!"

The rest of the evening while the bread was rising, she was badgering me, wanting to know when the apricot rolls would be done. Finally, when they came out of the oven, she was right there, waiting anxiously for me to slice some of the fresh rolls so she could taste it. I made her wait a few minutes to give it time to cool down very slightly then sliced her a piece which she took one bite -a bit tentatively -then pushed the rest of it in her mouth and announced she wanted more! Kurtis was watching all this and next thing I knew he was begging for a taste of it too! Then it became a contest of sorts between the two of them to see who could eat their slice of apricot bread first and beg for more! As a result, we polished off almost all of one loaf of the apricot bread before it had a chance to get cold!

And this mainly through two small children who prior to that evening would never have had anything at all o do with tasting, much less hogging away, anything with apricots in it! Go figure, huh?

Tuesday, I continued my baking spree and got about 6 dozen peanut butter cookies baked as well as 8 dozen gingerbread cut-outs and almost 9 dozen sugar Christmas cookies done too! I also got a batch of dough mixed up to make tiny tartlet cookies (some people refer to these as "Tassies") but they are still in the refrigerator, waiting for me to have time to  press them into the special small tart pans that you have to use for them and also, I have to mix up the fillings for them too. (I usually make several with pecan filling along with some with a chocolate fudge-brownie type filling, pumpkin and sour cream and lemon filling too! Once in a while I also include a filling of cranberry-nut which is very good.)

Today, I got no baking done as I had a doctor's appointment at the cancer center -my monthly regular appointment to go in and have my port flushed. This is supposed to be done every 4 weeks in order to keep the port open and ready if the need should arise for the doctors to have to use it for some type of infusion or other.

After that, I went and did a little bit of shopping to make sure I have something -not much, but something anyway- to give to each member of my family come Saturday night. Nothing spectacular -just a little gift for the season from Gram.

Tonight, I worked a bit more on a tablerunner I nearing completion- -finally! Hope in the next two days I can manage to finish it as well as to do the rest of my baking -which will include making at least one, possibly two, more batches of the nut roll recipe! At least one of those rolls will be going to each of my kids for Christmas along with a container of cookies too!

We had a bit of excitement this evening in this area -weatherwise -as we had a powerful electrical storm pass through here! About 7:30, I'd just sat down to watch one of my favorite re-run programs -The Big Bang Theory -when the lights went off very suddenly, then came back on right away. It was just enough disruption of the kind that tends to scare the living daylights out of both kids who were already in bed but not yet asleep. So Mandy had to run upstairs as fast as she could to get to Kurtis and console him. The end result of a few more brief power outages was that both kids are now asleep downstairs -one on the loveseat and the other on the sofa!

And I find myself to be pretty tired now too -ready to turn in but with Maya on the loveseat, looks like Gram will be minus her bed buddy tonight! That is unless I want to risk waking Maya up and getting her to go out and get in our joint-custody bed ya know! As cold as my room is with very little heat in there, she makes for a darned good little furnace to keep one's feet warm.

Nite now!


Suldog said...

Just stopping by quick to wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas, Jeni!

CiCi said...

All your baking just about wore me out as I read through your post. I did not bake anything. I may make pumpkin muffins later today, of course my version is wheat free so I will use coconut flour.

You have a busy life compared to mine, especially now that I am living alone. Most of the time I like the quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

Today is Christmas eve and I know you and your family will be enjoying the day together as well as tomorrow.

Merry Christmas, Jeni.

Dianne said...

I lived with my Nana in an apartment above the 'Loyal Order of Moose Lodge' for years
imagine that
I never got any chocolates

Merry Christmas dear friend