Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Today is the first day this week that I've really felt like myself again. Since the Flyzone ( for the rest of the month is the living room, I decided to tackle the bookcase. The tangle of wires behind the TV has been driving me nuts for quite a while so I straightened that up as best one can when there are a zillion things plugged in back there. 

As I was sorting through the books, I found one about St. Therese of Lisieux. She was the favored saint of my friend Marian Pryor who passed away last January. She's been on my mind lately because this time last year, John, Bea, Sabina and I went to visit her at Covenant in Saginaw. We didn't know it would be our last time with her. Marian gave me many books during our friendship and she always wrote something inside the front cover. This was written inside the book I opened today.

Word of the day:
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph - Feast
Saint(s) of the day : St. Sabinus, Bishop, and his Companions, Martyrs († c. 303)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 2:22-40.

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,"
and to offer the sacrifice of "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."
The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First of all, Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter, Nina!   Love you, Neener Beaner!!
Spent yesterday feeling pretty darn yucky.  It's frustrating because I had great plans to catch up on some things.  But that's okay.  I'm better today.  Not 100%, but at least I can get some things done.

In the spirit of always thinking a season ahead, I made some Valentine soap scented with rose/geranium.  Some are heartshaped and some are slices.  Haven't taken a pic of them yet. 

I also made some tealights for our Etsy shop and for the website.
Here are the Valentine Tealights

 And these are the spring and summer tealights.  They are so much fun to make.  AND Melisa found a ton of tealights at a very good price!!

Well, back to work for me.  Have a great day everyone!!


Word of the day:
The Holy Innocents, martyrs - Feast
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 2:13-18.

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son."
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:
A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Just popping in to wish everyone a wonderful and blessed Christmas - from my family to yours!!

Word of the day:
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), Mass at Midnight - Solemnity
Feast of the Church : Tonight: Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), solemnity
Saint(s) of the day : St. Sharbel Makhluf, Priest (1828-1898), St. Delphinus, Bishop († 403)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 2:1-14.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's been many years since I've made cannoli completely from scratch. I made some last year, but cheated and bought the shells. Tonight I made some shells. Nicola requested cannoli from scratch for family Christmas night dinner. Here you go, Neener Beaner!!

I spent the day with Claire and Clayton.  We puttered around the house, and then after dinner we went to run some errands and buy a Christmas present for their daddy.  We started at the church where I unloaded some gifts for the staff.  Clay and Claire are always fascinated with the interior of St. Mary's Church.  Clay says he always feels like someone is watching him.  I turned on the Christmas lights so they could see how pretty everything looked.  Then we took Fr. Thai his Christmas gifts so Clay and Claire could meet him.

After locking the church back up, we spent a while in the "castle park" behind the church.  Then we headed to St. Louis to Mount Saint Joseph to drop off a few more gifts.  From there we went to the dollar store so they could buy Daddy's present.  They decided they needed chocolate animal cookies, and since there weren't any at Dollar Tree, we went to Walmart.  They each bought a snack for the SA bell ringer, they talked me into buying some of Grandpa's cereal for them to take home (they love his Honey Nut Cheerios), and then we we needed to get to Wendy's because we were all hungry.  (And we forgot to buy the animal cookies.)

We pulled into Wendy's and they each wanted chicken nuggets and a Frosty.  I learned earlier in the summer that a Frosty and a milkshake are NOT the same thing.  Claire had been complaining all day that her stomach hurt.  Since it usually coincided with her not getting her own way about this or that, I didn't really take it seriously.  However, shortly after we sat down at our table she started to cry and complain that her tummy hurt her.  She came over to stand beside me and to tell me that she felt like she was going to hurl.  And hurl she did - all over my tray, her skirt, and my jeans.  Clay started making wretching noises so I made him go around the corner until Claire felt better.  The couple behind us gave me a stack of napkins. (Bless you!!)  As I hustled Claire to the ladies room I heard them chuckling over Clay's comment "whew,  at least she didn't puke on MY food."  Hmmmmmm.

Word of the day:
Feast of the Church : The Great O Antiphons: "O Emmanuel"
Saint(s) of the day : St. John of Kanty, Priest (1390-1473), St. Servulus († c. 590)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:57-66.

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her.When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,but his mother said in reply, "No. He will be called John."
But they answered her, "There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name," and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea.All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, "What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I am still trying to get gift bags together.  I spent the morning and early afternoon at church working with others to get it decorated for Christmas.  Decorating the church is my least favorite job in the world, but it was fun visiting with people and the time went pretty quickly.   I wish I had taken a picture.  I'll try to remember to take my camera with me on Christmas Eve.  It's not quite as elaborate as in years past, but it still looks beautiful.  As Deacon Al says, "less is more." 

Clay and Claire are spending the night tonight.  We just finished watching "A Christmas Story."  Poor little Claire waited and waited for Ralphie to get his Red Rider BB gun, and then she fell right to sleep.

As hoped, the lilac looks much better out of the mold and sliced.  I'm fairly happy with the way it turned out.
I also made a last minute batch of Christmas tree candles for gifts for some people at church.

Most of the house is clean - cluttered, but clean.  The kids always want pancakes when they stay over so tomorrow will be a pancake morning.  They'll stay until afternoon while Mommy and Aunt Anna shop, and help me run some errands.  I'll come home and finish cleaning and the last two stockings for a family order..  Then I have a few more gifts to wrap and I should be good to go.

I am really excited about Harold's present, but I am not going to show it here because this will be the one time he reads my blog.  He doesn't have  clue as to what I got him.  It is one of the best gift ideas I've had in a long time.

Word of the day:
Feast of the Church : The Great O Antiphons: "O Rex Gentium"
Saint(s) of the day : St. Ischyrion, Martyr († c. 250)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:46-56.

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The week is winding down, or rather winding up, to the great feast of Christmas.  I finished up most of the major things I need to do so I took a break tonight and made a batch of soap.  This time it was lilac.  It's strange that my house smells of autumn in summer, of Christmas in the fall, and of Spring as Christmas approaches, but such is the life of a soapmaker.  Because cold process needs at least a month to cure, we are always running ahead - that is, if we plan carefully.  Lilac is not my favorite scent to work with, but many of our customers love it.  This particular fragrance oil causes the soap to set up fast and has a tendency to rice so I'm not able to get the smooth, lovely swirls that I get with other scents. This would have been good for piping, but I had some soap florets that I wanted to use up.  It doesn't look as nice in the mold as it will when it is set and cut into slices. 

Very little goes to waste in my studio.  I use plastic bags as fillers for my tin can tealights and then seal the rest of the can with old wax melts that have lost their scent.  None of this shows, and it makes me feel like I am doing my small part to reduce waste.

This time of year always finds me waxing nostalgic.  A few months ago I made a new soap scented with Rose Geranium in memory of my mother.   The smell of roses always reminds me of Mama.  I'm not sure why.  Rose is not a scent I've ever been fond of.  Most likely because roses used to be the favored flower for funerals and my mother's funeral was the first I had ever been to. Mama's favorite flowers were actually gladioli. 

Over the years I have avoided rose-scented anything.  When Harold brought me roses after each of our kids were born, the vase had to sit on the other side of the room.  I think that roses reminded me that nothing in life is permanent - that we are mortal - and that my mother died too young. 

Lately I have come to peace with the scent of roses, and I remembered something that had been buried in my memory.  Mama used to let me borrow her overnight case when I went to stay the night at my grandparents' house.  She had a rose sachet that she kept inside it.  I recently found the sachet and realize now the scent of roses is also tied to a happy memory. This week I have been burning a rose geranium candle and letting the memories of my mother surround me.

It's been a bit of a sad year in some ways.  I lost some dear friends - one of whom was a mother figure for me.  She was a good friend - someone I could always talk to.  I still talk to her.  I often drive by her house and remember the good times we had as friends and co-workers in ministry.

But it's also been a happy year - with the birth of a new grandson
and the expectation of a new grandson in the spring.  We had lots of family time and I am blessed that all of our kids live in the state.  We have everything we need and everything we want, and enough left to share with others.  What more could one want in life?

Tomorrow we will decorate the church for Christmas, but before that there will be morning Mass.  One of my favorite priests once said, we are never closer to our loved ones than in the Eucharist.  I will remember that tomorrow morning as I remember Mama, Daddy, Marian, and all of the loved ones who have gone before me.  Merry Christmas all, and a bright and beautiful New Year!

Word of the day:
Feast of the Church : The Great O Antiphons: "O Oriens"
Saint(s) of the day : St. Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church (1521-1597)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:39-45.

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First of all, Happy Happy Birthday to my beautiful first-born.  This is how she referred to herself when she was a little girl. Anna Bubbles Beep Beep Indian Baby Moeggenborg Milliron.  Or Bubbles for short.

I have finally gotten my soap making mojo back.
Yesterday I made a batch of Monkey Bars Soap.  I love the scent of this one - bananas, pineapple, with a touch of cocoa.  I swirled it with gold, colorona bordeaux, and cocoa powder.  I really like the way this batch turned out.  I have a batch of matching candles cooling.  One of the candles came up short on weight so it will be my tester. 

Last week I made a batch of Honey Blossom

And the week before that, a batch of Peppermint Patty:

I began the day with morning mass - always a good start to the morning.  Orders have slowed down so I've had a chance to finally get some cleaning done.  Right now I'm at the sort stage, but I feel like I'm accomplishing something.  I want to paint the spare bedroom this summer.  I have not made any Christmas cookies this year so tonight I am making a recipe that is Harold's new favorite.  Double chocolate with peanut butter inside.

Word of the day:
Thursday of the Third week of Advent
Saint(s) of the day : St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli (1587-1651)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 7:24-30.

When the messengers of John had left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. "What did you go out to the desert to see--a reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces.
Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom scripture says: 'Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you.'
I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."
(All the people who listened, including the tax collectors, and who were baptized with the baptism of John, acknowledged the righteousness of God;
but the Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him, rejected the plan of God for themselves.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy St. Nicholas Day, all!

Well, things haven't slowed down a whole lot - a little, bit, but not much. Sad to say, I have not gotten our Christmas lights up on the front porch. I can't even find them. :( On the positive side, there has been lots of family fun going on.

Littlest granddaughter, Meghan, celebrated her first birthday and is now walking -albeit a bit unsteadily, but still, walking. As you can see, she liked her birthday cake!

We have been getting a lot of local orders for Christmas which is a very good thing. 
For the next 5 days, we are taking orders for custom gift baskets.

I've managed to keep up with the Farmhouse group. I slid by the wayside during craft season. Don't forget, Our Etsy Team - Old Farmhouse Gathering - is sponsoring an end of the year giveaway! On December 13, some lucky person will win everything you see pictured in the post further down the page!
Details can be found at The Old Farmhouse Gathering blog.  This is an amazing collection from a group of amazing crafters.  Our Snowman Tealight is one of the prizes!  The Farmhouse Gathering team has wonderfully talented artisans and the winner of this giveaway is going to be a very lucky person, ideed. We are also hosting an open house in our Etsy shops.

Word of the day:
Tuesday of the Second week of Advent
Saint(s) of the day : St. Nicholas of Bari († 342)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 18:12-14.

What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Started the day with a staff meeting.  That's always fun.  The day gets better from there.  LOL!  I copied some music for the Christmas choir folders, assembled music packets for the student instrumentalists who will be joining us this Christmas, came home and looked at the messy house and proceeded to ignore it.

December 1 finds me still playing catch up, but I am slowly getting there.  I actually made a batch of peppermint patty soap today. 

I made a batch last night - tried to oven process it - it wasn't pretty. It will eventually end up in the old crock pot and be re-batched. I had a customer who wanted it and I thought I could oven process it and she would have it for Christmas. I haven't ruined a batch of soap in a couple of years. Oh well, keeps me humble.

I also made 6 lamps, 2 batches of room spray, a batch of honey blossom candles, delivered an order, packaged up another order for shipping, assembled a large order for another customer, answered a third email asking us if we're still making stockings for this year (we aren't), made a dent in the dungeon cleanup, assembled folders for the Mass tomorrow with the school kids, and I need to make a couple of stockings. All-in-all, a good day's work.  

Word of the Day:
Thursday of the First week of Advent
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 7:21.24-27.

Jesus said to his disciples: «Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."