Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Newsletter... Why?

Sandrajo Files.
Is it still necessary? With today's technology, everyone can catch up on a daily basis (Facebook, Blogs, E-mail, Cell Phones, Skypes). Even on a hourly, minute-by minute even (Twitter). So how does a condensed version of a whole year's memory written down for others to see, for the sake of catching up, still show value?

I find myself asking because it is rather getting more and more difficult to compose one. I started out with a nice, semi-formal enough look that summed up what we did for each year since we were first married, but then it morphed to some fun ones, some with pictures, still, the "but" lingers...

We've received many as well over the years, along with generic cards, postcards with pictures of just their kids, and ones designed to make you admire how funny and clever the author is. I certainly look forward to receiving them but we also "see" the same friends and families on Facebook and other networking sites and catch up on what they do so... why a Christmas newsletter? Do people even still read one? Or do the intended recipients now quickly assume, "I already know about that, she just wasted paper." With that in mind, why a Christmas newsletter this year, why not be just like most and just go to the local store and crank out a hundred or so copies of my family's smiling faces with the cursury, "Merry Christmas!" and be done with it?

(As I'm writing this, the answer comes)
... Because it is not about catching up or showing off or keeping up with what's easiest. It's about taking the time to reflect on the year of blessings & trials and finding the Hand of God in each day that passed by. The newsletter becomes a final page to a non-existent journal book that is chosen to be shared with all that we care about. A final way to show of our beliefs, our lifestyle and what we truly value as we celebrate the best holiday of all, the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ...

Knowing this once again, I think I will go back to our former way of doing our newsletter... Because we want everyone to know that we love Him and all that He stands for...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving is a Must

HELLO and Happy Thanksgiving! We made it! We had another great Thanksgiving! As I'm sure you did, too! Like you, I'm sure, we also ate too much and had a great set of rounds of what we are grateful for. So here we are after dinner...

I wanted a Thanksgiving table, but I had no idea what and how. We've also been just bogged down with all sorts. But I'm glad my body and brain worked together last minute, literally, and this is what I came up with...

If you want to see more of our table/dining room/story behind it, click here:

It's rare that I have my pictures taken so don't be scared. That's really how I look like, posed next to my centerpiece.

and here with my 2 little ones, I-Dude and J-Pony. (Obviously) Mr. Man took the picture. We totally missed not having L-Infinity again this Thanksgiving, but we talked to her and she's among friends in Pearl City, Honolulu, HI for her Thanksgiving break at BYUH. She's doing really well in all her studies and might even have an intern job this summer!
I-Dude and J-Pony smiling up at the camera. (I would too, if I'm waiting to be fed!) lol

As always, we had a feast, but definitely toned down. It was nice having plenty to choose, but just eating enough to be full and satisfied...

After talking to L-Infinity and realizing we wanted to send her some pictures.

Just after dinner and dessert time. I-Dude patiently watching Mr. Man cut him a piece of pie.

Afterwards, I went upstairs to upload these pics for the family and when I finished and came back down, Mr. Man washed the dishes! He is just amazing! Love him!

Alright, time to go. Time to play Apples to Apples with the kiddos!

Happy Thanksgiving! How did you celebrate yours?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cooking and Saving

I miss my kitchen... Though the drywall is almost all up on the backwall, the counters are still full of tools and between the kids getting sick and me, too, plus busy schedule, it's still a mess. I've only managed to catalog some of the few great meals I've been doing for the kids' cookbooks (someday). But at least I captured some and they are delicious, nutritious and economical!

Been using One Note to store my recipes (totally not a recipe person), and we're all learning to rely on it to choose and plan our dinner menu for the week. But I'm also into seasonal produce, so until I have it all down, the recorded recipes are not that reliable yet. Here are some of the great ones I have yet to include:

I call this one, Green Steak over Linguine. It's got mainly green ingredients-broccolini, spinach, parsley, basil and little leftover steak. Total cost, under $5.00!
Pan-fried Tilapia fillets. Just S&P and a hot skillet/pan and 4 minutes later, "viola!" Total cost, $4 for 8 fillets!
 I love my Autumn soup, Sweet Leeky Squash Mash; it's hearty nutritious and completely vegetarian. The creamy base, coconut cream! Sweet potatoes, Winter squash, leeks, and spices. Yummy! Topped with Roasted Pumpkin seeds! Filled a 5-cup Rubbermaid container! Total cost, $3.50!
 Steamed Artichokes! Hubby found them at Krogers for 10/$10! Yep, only $1 each!
 Berry Veggie Medley Smoothie, my whole family loves it! Healthy and oh-so cheap! (Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Spinach, Carrots, Yogurt and OJ) Total cost for the whole pitcher, less than $2.00!
Haven't been doing any tablescapes since back in 4th of July... I'm so sad...

I've been busy researching a healthier approach to eating. So much information available, it's amazing! But, the pattern seems to point at the obvious... Clean food means clean body!

Til next time!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Autumn Bliss

I love, love Fall! Just the simple fact that the leaves change colors, the weather cools after fighting summer's imprisonment or burning punishment. I love Fall!

The colors, the smells, the feel! There's just nothing like it!

The wind whispers, "slow down, slow down..." The air invites, "play, play"... The leaves call, "have hope, have hope..."

And then of course, there's School time, Halloween and Thanksgiving...

What a wonderful way to set our minds and hearts towards the Christmas season, but with a grateful heart when Thanksgiving rolls by and moves on...

I love Autumn, such a wonderful time of the year.

(Pics from last year...)

How do you feel about Fall?