Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years!


Happy New Years!!

New Years in our home, cannot pass by
with out a platter of Portzelky, or Olliebollen.
It's fun to see who comes around looking for that
special deep fried batter glazed with icing sugar.
You cannot begin to count the calories today.

The sad part of eating these,
is that we all agree....that this is the final end of
our Festive season and we all look forward to
healthy food alternatives in the New Year.
Or do we?
Who knows how long that will last?


I want to wish you all a Happy New Year.

The fresh snowfall over the past days,
has reminded me that we have a clean slate
on which to write our hopes and dreams.

I rarely set too many goals for myself,
as I prefer to pamper myself with words like,
"I am working on this..."
Less time on energy and things.
More time on energy and people.

Again, as some of us try to reach our goals,
or accomplishments, some of us may not.

Cherish the happy times.
Reflect upon what really counts.
Remember how others have enriched your life.
Contemplate on what brings you true joy and peace,
which causes me to think of my family and friends.
Take time to recognize and enjoy each and every blessing.

All of life's best rewards and greatest satisfactions,
come from people like YOU!

So regardless whether you set your goals or not,

I'm still wishing You a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The SCHMIDT House

Another Season of Family Celebrations.
It's fun to see them all come together.
This year, we were all together, 35 of us, except for three cousins.
It was one amazing time!

My parents have past away, over 10 years ago.
It was always my biggest fear,
that we would not be able to keep our family in tact.
But throughout the years, we have worked hard,
and continued to initiate events around the celebrative seasons.

Mom & Dad,
You would be so proud to see your wonderful family.
We have continued to share life and make new memories.

Mom, no more turkey, we switched to appetizers.
Loren, is upset to this day, that there
was never enough gravy...but he survived.

We didn't play old fashioned games. We used technology.
Who could text the fastest?
Who had the most cell phones in one family?

We all shared about our lives over the past years,
realizing that some had serious health issues.
Sometimes we wished you parents were there still praying for us.
(we know you are...but we still miss your presence)

Even the wee little ones were allowed to play hockey in the house.
They even wrestled just like you would of allowed us.
You put up with so many things.
Many times you told us to go and play in the barn.

But then Orlando began to turn the music on quite loud...and
began mimicking to the beat...(they called it Christian music)
Some people were even moving....dancing????
I don't know what You and Dad would of thought of that.
I just remembered that you did not like the music
that Vic brought back from URBANA 40 years ago.
The record of Jonathon & Charles, (similar to Simon and Garfunkle)
Dad, you were not always pleased with our music,
but you always accepted us for our ideas as we grew up,
and so we're trying now to do the same thing
as we watch the next generation pull together.

Sometimes we just need to bite our tongues.

Talk about biting our tongues...
But, then came the worst....
The family began to laugh outrageously.
Your son, Dave got everyone going, even the young ones.
We know that you and Dad loved to joke.
But I wonder what they were laughing about?
It was about the Famous Schmidt Tradition.

Who can touch their nose with their tongue?

And there you have it...
We have carried on...
I think you'd be smiling, thinking...."Was fur Dummheit gibts jetz?"
Translated...What kind of stupidity is this?

Mom, we even found your old cookie cutter, in Sheryl's Kitchen.
We decided to start a new tradition....baking together.

And we made a special plate of cookies, with that special stamp...
not exactly like the ones you used to make,
but we knew you wouldn't mind.

Last but not least,
You would of been so proud of us, that we chose not
to spend money on gifts for ourselves,
but rather brought gifts for the new baby to be born.
Emily and Andrew will be having their first child.
Vic is actually going to be a Grandpa.
You, would now have 4 great grandchildren.
Levi, Cameron, Silas.
Thank-you Mom & Dad for giving life to us.
You gave us a rich heritage and we want to
carry the torch to the next generation.

Thank-you Orlando and Viv for being such tremendous hosts.
The Christmas Spirit was truly present.

I think that today I will sign off on behalf of the
Schmidt House.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Reflections

I've treasured these eyes, waiting with anticipation.
I remember as a small child how I could not wait,
till Christmas Eve.
We'd dash to church and come home and open gifts.
Not once did I stop to recognize all the efforts,
my parents contributed to make this day so special.

Fifty years later,
with the same anticipation,
we've completed the tasks,
of wrapping, baking, and preparing.
Each gift is wrapped with a special prayer.

And with the same anticipation in those eyes,
I sit and wait...not really,
but in a few hours,
I too will anticipate the joy in their eyes,
as they open their gifts.

Over the past years,
I have come to value relationships more and more.
Whether it's our parents or those wee little grandchildren,
everyone becomes a special part of our lives.
And what makes me reflect the most is
how Jesus himself, came down as a small babe,
dressed in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger.

This was no New York Time Square Extravaganza!

There were shepherds, angels, and wise men.
It even records that their were animals.
He came in a very lowly style.

He came to give life, so that ALL men could have
a relationship with Him.

What better way to enter the Christmas Season,
than to restore relationships with those we love,
and to honor Jesus Christ,
who yearns to have a relationship with us.

To all my friends out there,
from our House to Yours:
We're wishing you a Christ filled Christmas,
a heart of cheer,
a spirit of hope,
a life of love for every day in all the year.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Live, Love, Laugh


When you walk into our home,
you will see the words engraved on the wall.
LIVE, LOVE & LAUGH

Christmas is often a time of year when folks can become stressed
out about shopping, baking, cooking, company...long line-ups.
You name it,
It doesn't take a lot to tick some folks off.

On Sunday night we had a group of friends over,
and spent time playing games,
which had us doubled over in laughter for hours.

Some of the White Elephant gifts had us howling for hours.
"Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing."

I love it when you can have a room full of people,
regardless of age, ready to get involved, at no expense,
and practice a new form of exercise.
No, this was not meditating.
It was laughing.

These guys are really into it.
They were trying to draw a picture of a corvette,
racing down the freeway.
The challenge was that they had to draw this on top of their heads.
Try it, if you need to add some laughter at your next event.
The outcome had us in tears, laughing.
There was always a winner!

"You don't stop laughing because you grow old.
You grow old because you stop laughing"


Enjoy the next few days and take time to laugh!



Friday, December 18, 2009

FAVE Five

It's one week before Christmas.
I'm sure we're all busy running around,
but I hope that you can all find some down time.
This is how I found some pleasurable hours this week.
Thanks again, Susanne over at Living to tell the Story,
for hosting this wonderful site.

Andrea Bocelli

I wish...No, I was not at a live concert.
But I was so privileged to hear David Foster and Andrea Bocelli
on one of our favorite PBS Christmas Specials, called "My Christmas"
I love nothing more than to listen to great music at Christmas.

Running Wool through my Fingers.

If you can't find me at home during this season,
you may have to go up town.
I enjoy going for an afternoon stroll to our local
wool shop, sitting down, knitting and drinking coffee.
They are most helpful and no interruptions,
until my daughter arrives, looking for me, surprised to see me knitting.

She also loves to search out her favorite wools.

Preparing the Final Touches for Christmas!

The live tree is decorated, candles lit,
fireplace a glowing and classical Christmas music.
I love this time of year.

Advent's Blocks.

As we celebrate the lighting of each Advent candle,
I also place my wooden letters on the window sill,
which reminds me visibly to concentrate on these virtues.

LEVI

But this one made me smile.
I came into the kitchen to find the letters had been rearranged!

Cooking and Baking

I love the smells of fresh baking and cooking.
It's always fun to try some new recipes.
Let me share with you one of my favorite appies.
It's the time of year where we are all looking for that simple appetizer,
that is quick, easy, and delicious.
Buffalo Chicken.
Run over to the MGCC blog.

I'm wondering what next Friday will look like.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Could You Do Me a Favor?


How many times do you want to bake a recipe and you are missing the one single ingredient? Sometime you can substitute, but not this time. It was the first weekend of Advent and it's tradition in our home that I bake Pfeffernusse. Well don't you believe it, I was missing the Lebkuchen Spice mixture for this recipe...I called from the kitchen, "Can you do me a favor?"
"Do you have a minute to run to the deli and get me Lebkuchen Gewurz? "

He is always more than willing to run to town for me...so I gave him the exact package wrapping and carefully instructed him, as to where he could locate it...and told him to be quick about it....
Away he goes, finds the exact packets and approaches the clerk, as smug as a button and tells him how his wife sent him for these spices, and the conversation goes something like, "I guess she doesn't trust me, that's why she sent the spice package."

The clerk slowly responded saying, "Sir, ...sorry to inform you, but that is not the same package that your wife sent with you, I will find the right package for you."
"Oh," he says, "I guess there's a reason why she sent the package along." Sheepishly, he walked out, drove home and told me the story....We had a good laugh.

As smug as a button, convinced that he had the right spice...


So, I continued to mix up my favorite recipe and invited Levi to come over and help roll out the snakes. It's hard to keep that cookie tin full. He of course wanted to take enough to school to share with all his class mates.

So the story continues, as I was baking with my sister this week, we whipped up another batch of Pfeffernusse. Take note, once the dough has been mixed it needs to be refrigerated over night.

So just before I was going home from her house,I snuck into the fridge and decided to take half of the dough home for myself....Well, guess what....I had dough...but not till I was home a few days later, did I notice that I had took wrong dough, I swapped her gingersnap dough instead and when she wanted to quickly make up her gingersnaps for the kids, she could not find her dough..., meanwhile I was looking for the Pfeffernusse dough.

The moral of the story is:

"Too many cooks in the kitchen and too many fingers in the dough"

Oh by the way, if you want this recipe,
jump over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
You'll find it on today's post.
Pfeffernusse.

And, could you do me a favor?
Don't switch recipes on me next year!!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday FAVE Five

Welcome to my FAVE Five.
Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story
has inspired us to share our weekly highlights.
I always look forward to this day, as I recount
some of my favorite events,
sometimes small, sometimes big.

Picking Greenery
Is there anything nicer than smelling freshly cut pines and branches?
Last weekend, on a cold crisp sunny day, one could find me,
driving around the farm lands looking for greenery.
I've enjoyed putting together some new natural greens in my home.

Norwex Rags

OK, I fell for one of those parties.
Bloggers, if you have not been to a Norwex party,
you probably will be invited to one in the next year.
Our younger generation is teaching us how to clean
without using all those cleaning products.
It's only an EXPENSIVE rag and water.
Oh, by the way...they are all antibacterial.
Oh, I forgot to mention....
Lots of elbow grease!
Consequently, it has not changed my mind about house cleaning.

Sunrise, Sunset?

We have had many spectacular sunsets this past week.
As most of you know, it's been crispy, cold and sunny.
But this one morning, I escaped shortly, only to find...
a sunrise over Mt. Cheam captivating me.
Hubby was waiting for coffee...
but I had more important things to tend to.

Creating Christmas Decor
I attended a Christmas decorating event,
held by our local Minter Gardens.
It was wonderful to hear from Brian Minter, in person, as
he encouraged us to think like the Europeans.
"Use all kinds of natural greeneries. Forget the Blitz and Blink"
I can't wait to put up my tree.

Christmas Baking
There is nothing more special than to spend a day
in the kitchen with my one and only sister.
We baked up a bunch of old family favorites.
We scrounged around and found some interesting
cookie cutters that belonged to our Mother.
It's fun to relive some great memories
and go home with a bunch of fresh baking.
Except, the tins are almost empty.....
Come back on Monday for our favorite Pfeffernusse recipe.

See you next week.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Weekend with the Boys!



Are we having fun yet?

I love involving the boys as I prepare for Christmas.
This weekend many things happened.
Some were even unexpected!


Baking Pfeffernusse
(to be posted next week)

Making Nuts and Bolts

Putting up Christmas Lights

Cutting down the Christmas Tree

Playing the Piano

Lighting the Advents Wreathe

Opening a few gifts which included a

Nativity Center and an

Advent's Calendar.

Playing Piano
(Jingle bells or Vivaldi)

Playing Lego

Checking out Rudolph's Red Nose

"And Oma, we still didn't have time to watch a Christmas movie."

And so it goes, friends.

At the end of the day this little fellow marched down the hallway,
both blankets dragging along behind him.
Dee Dee as he calls for his blankets.
It's a bit blurry, but you got the picture.

He was going home....
He wanted his Mama...
He was finished.
And so was I.

Let's find out tomorrow what was unexpected.


Friday, December 4, 2009

FRIDAY'S FAVE FIVE


It's time to join Susanne, our host over at Living to tell the Story.
She has graciously invited us to share our highlights of the week.
It's been a full week, but eventful once again.

Celebrating Advent
I can sometimes be the type of person who goes full steam ahead....
and get's all caught up in the outside glitzy preparations for Christmas.
Celebrating Advent is a special part of our weekly events.
We invite family members and have a simple meal and light just one candle.
Advent is an invitation to inner preparation of the heart.
The first candle lit, represents Hope,
representing Jesus birth, the Light of the World!
I'm thankful that I had time to reflect upon the Hope that Jesus brings.

Making Special Phone Calls
This week I knew that I needed to make some calls.
You know the kind of call that comes from the heart?
The kind of call that means I'm getting over some resentments?
That's part of my journey in preparing for the Christmas Season.

Observing Sparkling Eyes
I love to see the anticipation of a child's eyes as they
dream about the special season ahead of us.

A Tour of Lovella's Home
This was such a highlight, touring my blogger friend's home.
She was asked to host her home for the annual Christmas Tour.
She used so many wonderful attractive natural greens.
Green cedar swags draped over her windows.
Red and white accents gave her bedroom just the right touch.
Her home was exquisitely decorated without any details missing.
She's been giving us a daily tour of each room on her blog.
You too can follow her tour, just jump over to her blog.

Searching for a Town House
Over the past few months we have searched and viewed many homes.
Finally , we started looking at some town houses.
We felt that may be a better option for my daughter.
But today as we walked in to view another townhouse....
we all agreed in a few minutes that maybe this one had a chance?
We will wait and find out.

I hope you all enjoy your week and we'll see you next week again.