Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best wishes for a...

...Blessed and
Happy New Year!

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly heart.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Prayer for a Blessing on the New Year

O sacred and adorable Trinity, hear our prayers on behalf of our holy Father the Pope, our Bishops, our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless, we beseech Thee, during the coming year, the whole Catholic Church; convert heretics and unbelievers; soften the hearts of sinners so that they may return to Thy friendship; give prosperity to our country and peace among the nations of the world; pour down Thy blessings upon our friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and upon our enemies, if we have any; assist the poor and the sick; have pity on the souls of those whom this year has taken from us; and do Thou be merciful to those who during the coming year will be summoned before Thy judgment seat. May all our actions be preceded by Thy inspirations and carried on by Thy assistance, so that all our prayers and works, having been begun in Thee, may likewise be ended through Thee. Amen.

May God bless you all in 2009 and may your hearts and homes be filled with love, joy and peace.

I just failed...

... at making Never Fail Fudge.

I made this same recipe for Christmas and it turned out SO GOOD that I decided to make a couple batches to take to the New Year's Eve Party tonight. However, for some reason, when I was reading the directions I read "Sweetened Condensed Milk" instead of "Evaporated Milk". {big sigh} As I tried mixing I realized my mistake and tried to correct it by scooping out what I could of the Sweetened Condensed Milk and adding Evaporated, since I didn't have the ingredients to start over. Both batches are done now and they still look delicious -- one is cholcolate & walnut, and the other is white chocolate topped with mini chocolate chips and peppermint pieces -- I just don't think they are going to set. Now I need to figure out what I can make instead, and I am RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!

Our Christmas 2008: Home Tour

This post is for Faith & Family's Christmas Home Tour.

We don't have a ton of decorations, but those we do have are meaningful and special to us. So, here are a few pictures of what you would find if you happened to visit our home during the Advent and Christmas season.

An Evergreen Wreath on our Front Door

Our Candles in the window during Advent through Christmas Eve...

"The candle in the window, still a favorite traditional Irish Christmas decoration, it harkens back to that ancient Christmas Eve, when Mary and Joseph could find no shelter. It is a symbol of Irish hospitality, their way of welcoming Mary and Joseph...and any travelers who might happen to pass by looking for a warm place to stay.

In the days when it was illegal (and dangerous) to practice the Catholic faith in Ireland because of the oppressive Penal Laws, the candle in the window of Irish homes at Christmas also signaled traveling priests that this was a home where they would be welcome and where they could safely conduct the traditional Irish Catholic Christmas Mass." Source

Christmas Cards from Friends and Family!
(I was so excited to have a few new additions this year from new blogger friends!!)

I just added a few more cards this morning, and the door is just about full!

My favorite lights on are on the mantle...

Last year I also had some pretty Angle Candle holders that spelled out the word "JOY" on the mantle. I loved them! ! Anyhow, one day I was sitting on the couch reading and looked up and saw "YO"... WHAT?!?! I couldn't help but laugh!! I guess the J fell and was shattered by the bricks. {sigh} Oh well! Next year I am going to try and paint some wooden letters, like lots of other Catholic families have done, for our mantle: PREPARE for Advent and REJOICE for Christmas.

Lots of Nativity sets, here are a few...

Our Jesse Tree and Advent Calendars...

Lots and lots of goodies...

Children building and later attempting to eating a Gingerbread house...

Visiting friends and family...

The beginnings of our Christmas Morning Brunch!

(Included Mimosa's and Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake! Yum!!)

I'm going to stop there, I've been on the computer long enough! I have some more fudge for tonight's New Year's Eve Party (at Rascal's Godparents) and a few other things to get done.

For more of this years Christmas photos, see my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day posts.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Christmas 2008: Christmas Day

Our Advent Candles were replaced with our Christ Candle.

Excited children up bright and early!
"Just look, till after Mass!"

All ready for Christmas Mass.

The kids have sure grown since last year!

Right before Mass Twinkle Toes leaned over and asked, "Momma, how can Baby Jesus be born again every Christmas?!" Too cute!

Home again... Time to open Stockings!

Chiquita loved her new handmade hat, and SO did Snuggles. He kept trying to take it from her!!

After brunch, it was time for presents!

Rascal was thrilled with his GI's from Captain.

The boys were both excited to give daddy a game he received for Christmas as a child. They can't wait to play!

Snuggles loved his new balls, but what he hasn't put down is the little toy phone the boys picked out for him!

(Hum... starting to look like I should just let Captain do the shopping from now on!!)

Look at that smile!! He has been wanting this game since before his birthday!

The boys were thrilled with all their new Playmobil.
(Oh, and in the left photo, you can see the girls in their new dress up!)

Moving on to the girls, they really liked the new felt food that I made them: Chocolate Bars, Goldfish, Sugar Cookies, and Bow Tie Pasta with sauce. My favorite was the Bow Tie Pasta, but Twinkle Toes loved the heart shaped cookie!

Speaking of homemade, the girls were thrilled with their new wooden dollies. Twinkle Toes said, "oooohhhhh!! They are SO CUTE!!" And you should have heard their squeals when they opened their dollhouse!

Can you tell that the dollhouse/castle was my very most favorite gift this year ever? I had to run and grab a couple of our Wooden Saints to see how they liked it too!

They fit perfectly!!!!!!! I've already added the matching furniture to my Amazon wishlist... Humm... Chiquita's birthday is coming up in April! OR!!!! Mine is in just two weeks!! ;)

So, what was your favorite gift this year?

After all the gifts were opened, the kids all played with their new toys, and we spent a relaxing evening at home! We had such a nice Christmas day! I hope you all did too.

Merry Christmas!