Monthly Archives: December 2006

creating

it feels so good to be creating again. and even though most of it is for the store, i’m enjoying it. i’m currently trying to finish up my sample for my mini album class (to be taught on 1/9 and 1/11)… the one with the deck of playing cards. it’s really cool and i’m having fun going through it. it’s a lot of work, though and there’s no way in heck these ladies are gonna finish up even the BASE of this book in a 90 minute class. oh well. it’ll be fun none-the-less! i also have to teach card classes this coming tuesday – but i don’t have the stamp yet to use. hmmm. guess this’ll be a last minute preparation deal? guess i’ll head to the store tomorrow (maybe?) to pick up some supplies. i know i’ll make the cards simple with "few parts" so the TOM girls don’t have to cut up so many little strips of paper! i was also notified tonight that my 3rd design team kit is finished/ready for me to pick up. seriously? i just turned one in! and this is our 3rd kit, which means we’re half-way finished with this already. wahhhhh. i wanna be on the DT forever!!  :)

okay. back to creating i go. i’ll post pictures (using my new camera i got for Christmas), i promise. maybe this weekend!

Over already?

Weeks of planning and preparing and shopping and wrapping and decorating and mailing and everything else related to Christmas… and it’s all over in one day. One short little day. Despite the day FLYING by, we had a WONDERFUL Christmas. The whole (immediate) Dunkin family was here. Dave and I had our own Christmas and breakfast followed by a trip to mom & dad’s for our stockings, the reading of the Christmas story (Luke 2), opening presents and then the Hershey Kiss hunt (there are still about 20 hershey kisses hiding somewhere in the living room, dining room, kitchen and family room…. have fun finding them if you head over there for a visit!). Then back to our house to get lunch/dinner in the oven and before I knew it, we were sitting down to eat. It was an extra special Christmas celebration – we were all back together again for a major holiday – that hasn’t happened in awhile.

As I say each year, I was spoiled rotten by those who love me. Lots of new goodies – things practical, useful, fun, creative and so much more. I’ll be busy for weeks to come, as will Dave. And even though Christmas Day is over, the holiday spirit is still very much alive and well in our home… hopefully it is alive and well in your home, too! It’s back to work for each of us tomorrow (we took today off to have a day to "unwind" after the chaos that we call Christmas Day) so we’ll slip right back into our routine.

Love to all of our friends and family. Merry Christmas from the Dunkin Clan:

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, dear family and friends! It’s early here – about 7:30 a.m. But I just couldn’t sleep any longer (I’m as excited as a kid when it comes to Christmas) and I’m enjoying the QUIETNESS of our home before the day brings noise, activity and more people. We left our tree lights on last night (Dave really wanted to) and I’m glad we did – it was so wonderful to walk downstairs this morning and to be welcomed by an already-lit tree. It’s beautiful. And as I sit here and think and relax this morning, I can’t help but praise God for all He has done in my life. In Dave’s life. In the lives of our family and friends. And this year, a special thanks to God for drawing to Himself my friend’s father. We’ve prayed for this moment for years and a week ago, He saw His need for a Savior and turned to Christ. Praise God! Now to pray for her brother and his wife!  :)   May this Christmas bring you in contact with many of your loved ones and may you have a wonderful day celebrating the reason for this season – the miraculous birth of a baby who was destined for great things as He was (and still IS) the Son of the Living God! Merry Christmas!

anticipation

we are now officially READY for Christmas to arrive. and it can’t come fast enough! last night, dave and i sat downstairs on the floor in front of our tree. we shook some of our presents, trying to guess what they were (are). we gave each other a bunch of hints and clues ("I got you something small" – "I got you something with thread"). we each have a few guesses as to what we’re receiving, though i don’t think we obtained any of our "ideas" from the clues we gave each other last night! we have a tradition of opening one present each on Christmas Eve. Then we open almost all of our presents on Christmas morning, though we tend to save one or two gifts to open at mom & dad’s house (we just cart ‘em all over there on Christmas morning along with the gifts for the family). It’s a fun tradition. Give me a minute and I’ll have some photos of all of our presents to show you!

As promised, here are some photos of the presents under our tree along with some other photos i’ve taken over the past week: Christmas presents, an ornament centerpiece "in process" and our Christmas cards ready to mail!

sharing stories

i want you all to know that i LOVE reading your comments on my blog posts. your comments make me smile, esp. when you respond to my questions… i love that we can all interact through this modern technology….. crazy, eh?! and therefore, i want to READ MORE!

with that said, why don’t you tell me what you are MOST looking forward to this Christmas? or what do you have left to do BEFORE Christmas? or any other Christmas-related question I haven’t asked yet, I guess! 

For me, I’m pretty much ready. One more batch of cookies and maybe chocolate peanut butter fudge today. Complete and wrap one more present (for granma). Clean the bathrooms and do a final dusting/vacuuming to the downstairs. Yep. I think that pretty much finishes my list of "things to do." As for what am I most excited about this year? It’s almost always the same with me…. giving presents. I LOVE to give presents. and this year, I think we have once again done a great job at finding things people WANT and will LOVE. I’m also really excited for Dave to open his presents. I got him some really good stuff this year (at least, I think I did) so I’m eager for Monday morning to arrive so we can OPEN THE GOODS!!!!  

baking like a madwoman

yep. that’s exactly what i’m doing…. baking like a madwoman. after putting in a 44-hour work week (in 4 days), we ran a few errands on the way home. i think all Christmas presents are now purchased (dave finished up his shopping on the way home this evening) and most are wrapped. dave has even spent the past two nights wrapping my presents and adding them to the growing piles under and around the tree. sheesh. we have so many packages under there now…. what in the WORLD will it look like when we have children? i don’t dare to even imagine! 

but i digress…. one of our stops on the way home was the grocery store. so i now have everything i need to make christmas breakfast for dave and i and dinner for the whole family (8 of us this year). AND the remaining ingredients to make monster cookies. so since tomorrow is dave’s turn to bring TREATS to work for his team, i have been baking like crazy. last night was a batch of snickerdoodles. tonight was a batch of rice krispie treats and now a (very large) batch of monster cookies. i DID, however, think ahead. and i’m making the whole batch now, but will freeze some of the cookies to save for my birthday party in january. yep. that’s smart thinking. my batch of monster cookies makes 10-12 DOZEN cookies. yes. you read correctly. the first time i made the batch of cookies, i was so disgusted i gave away 95% of the cookies. i made them for my snack for a stampin’ up demonstration/party at my house. it took the WHOLE DARN DAY to make the cookies. so i packaged them up on paper plates and in ziplock bags and everyone who came to the party went home with a plate of cookies. ugh. i never wanted to see another monster cookie again! but i pulled the recipe back out for Christmas and thus, a tradition was born!

for those of you not familiar with monster cookies, they’re called MONSTER cookies b/c they’re LARGE and it’s like one giant "favorite" cookie all rolled into one. peanut butter. oatmeal. chocolate chip. m&ms. it’s all in there. and they are YUMMY.

i’ll try to add a photo tomorrow… i’m just too tired right now and i have to go make more cookies (aka: drop the dough onto the cookie sheet and bake them)!

our tree

our tree is FINALLY decorated! it took all of 5 or 10 minutes last night, but we got to do it TOGETHER. that’s what we kept waiting for…. those few moments when we could work together to decorate our tree. it’s filled with mostly ornaments from my childhood (my mom has a smaller, pre-decorated tree now, so i got all the ornaments)plus we have a few ornaments we’ve received since being married. so this is it…. and i like it!!
 
Tell me something special about your tree…. or what’s on it…. or what’s NOT on it….

Growing up, my mom was INSISTENT that even though we had an ARTIFICIAL tree, ALL (and oh boy, I do mean all) of the ornaments (strands of Christmas lights not included) had to be homemade. She tried to tell my Sunday school teachers one year that their little rosette/jingle bell ornament wasn’t "homemade enough" to be on our tree… that is, until one of my Sunday school teachers (the pastor’s wife, I believe) told her that she BURNT HER FINGER using the hot glue gun to make the ornaments! tee hee. I used to find GORGEOUS ornaments in the stores but I was never allowed to put them on our tree. Sigh. That was also so sad – so tragic – for me!

COOKIES

MMMMMMMMM…………. my house smells SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD right now. I’ve got some snickerdoodles in the oven. i LOVE the smell of cinnamon. I’m not much of a fan of the TASTE of cinnamon (with a few exceptions – like hot cinnamon candy… yum!) but i LOVE the smell. and I do love snickerdoodles.

tomorrow night i hope to START making some monster cookies. I say START b/c the recipe I have makes an awful LOT of cookies…. i’ll for sure be giving some away to friends and/or family b/c there’s no way we can even eat HALF of a batch of monster cookies. my recipe calls for 9 cups of fast-cooking oatmeal and 6 eggs. does that give you an idea of how large of a batch of cookies one can make?!  :)

what yummy holiday treats are your favorites? this year dave and i plan to learn how to ROAST some almonds and walnuts (or pecans?) in butter and sugar…. we ate some fresh from a vendor in NYC’s Central Park just a month ago and they were SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD so we wanna try to make our own. i can’t wait… i just hope they turn out well!

a night off

AHHHHH…. my first night "off" in a long, long time! what am i doing? nothing. yep. absolutely nothing. we stopped by dad & mom’s house to pick up our box of goodies from grandpa & grandma in ohio (milk chocolate covered pretzals for me and dark chocolate covered pretzals for dave) and we got an offer to stay for dinner…. so i didn’t even have to cook or clean up or anything like that! dave is working (from home) so maybe/hopefully we get our tree decorated tomorrow night. but this feels so good. sitting here on the couch, vegging out to the tv and surfing the Net (or the "interweb" as we like to call it) and i’m doing nothing. i love it. it feels so good.

how are your holiday plans coming along? i’m almost there. one present to finish making (waiting for dave to choose and print photos), christmas dinner to plan (along with the shopping list), table place cards (aka: mini ornaments) to make and one present to wrap (the one that hasn’t yet been completed)! i think that’s it. yep. seriously. it’s awesome. well, i haven’t done ANY holiday baking yet, so we might have to throw in some of that, too. but everything that remains to be done… is FUN. yep. i’ll be able to relax and enjoy it. how about you?

we may even go SNOW SHOEING this weekend! yippeeeeeee!!!!

PREPARED

Prepared. That’s how I feel right now. Well, at least PARTIALLY prepared. My Christmas cards are FINALLY ready to be mailed – all 140 of them. Yep. They’re going out late this year, but they should still arrive at people’s homes BEFORE Christmas. YIPPEE!!!!

This morning, I also wrapped Dave’s presents AND his stocking stuffers (I finished shopping yesterday) with the exception of his two gifts that will arrive in the mail this week. Wrapped. Ribboned. Tagged.

Now if we could just get our TREE set up and decorated…….