Monday, December 17, 2012

May We Never Forget

Friday, December 14, 2012, is a day that will live in the hearts of our nation.  The lives of 20 children and 7 adults were taken in a mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Over the last week I have opened this window to type out a blog post. I have started my post and then closed the window.  You see, I have been having a very hard time trying to decide if what is on my heart or mind is worth sharing.  I am still struggling with what to write and how to write.  It isn't like me to not have much to say.  I am usually an open book.  I am asking that you keep me in your prayers as I struggle with whatever this is that has been pulling at my heart.  I want to keep moving forward through this season of my life and come out better for it.  Thank you.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Christmas Tradition

I was born and raised in a small town in East Tennessee.  My grandparents were dairy farmers.  They took their role very seriously.  My Mamaw made it her mission to fill my time on the farm with precious heart felt memories.  She taught me to sew, to cook, to clean (yeah, I didn't hold on to that lesson very well!) and showed me what it meant to really live for and love the Lord.
My Grandparents with me and Scott the day we told them we were expecting S.  2005
 Each Christmas, for as far back as I can remember, she would help me and my brother bake Christmas cookies.  She had a special bag of cookie cutters that we used, a special recipe for the dough, and for the frosting.  Each year we did it the exact same way.  We headed to the kitchen, mixed the dough and put it in the freezer to chill (the freezer because she had 2 very impatient children ready to cut out and bake cookies) and we would head to the living room.  While the cookie dough chilled my brother and I stood side by side on the hearth of the fire place playing jingle bells on the kazoo while Mamaw played the piano.  Finally the dough would be ready and we would then cut out and bake the cookies.  We made up our own icing and decorated them.  Of course we munched on a few as we went.  ;) Sadly I lost both of my grandparents in 2006.  I was able to inherit my Mamaw's cookie cutters and make sure to cook up a batch with my children each year at Christmas time.  We use her same recipe, her same cookie cutters, and her same icing recipe.  I feel her with me each time we bake the cookies.  I know she is with us in spirit and because of her I have a very special tradition to share with my children.
The finished product from Christmas last year.

A few of the cookie cutters I was very blessed to receive after my grandparents passed away.

Mamaw Hales Christmas Cookies...

  • 1 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 C Butter (margerine can be substituded)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon Flavoring
  • 1 L egg
  • 2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar

Beat first 4 ingredients in bowl with mixer until well combined.  Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (this is the part where we put ours in the freezer for about 45 mins).

Heat oven to 375*

Divide dough in half and roll out to 1/4 thickness.  Cut into Christmas shapes.  Place 2 inches apart on a buttered cookie sheet.

Bake 7-8 mins or until edges are golden brown.

Mamaw Hales Christmas Cookie Icing...

  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 - 2 tsp of Milk
  • Assorted food coloring

Mix the milk and food coloring into the powdered sugar until it is the consistency of pancake batter.  Decorate cookies with sprinkes and allow to dry (if you can!)  **You may have to add more or less sugar or milk to get desired thickness depending on the humidity.

This was always my Mamaws favorite.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Looking Forward...

December is just around the corner (in all actuality it started about 14 minutes ago).  December is one of those great months of the year for me for a few different reasons.  In December we get to celebrate my saviors birth with Christmas.  That means a lot of time with family and friends - and food!  December is also that month that my daughter was born.  On Sunday she will be 7 years old.  I cannot tell you where the time has gone but I will tell you that I would not trade a second of it for the world!  December also means a closing of a year.  We get to say goodbye to a season of our life and hello to a new.  I am looking forward to seeing what the new year has in store for me and my family.