Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas came early this year...

(Tracy's Christmas mouse he's had since childhood....Isn't he SO CUTE? Sad that this was the last photo he would ever be a part of...we sent him on this year as the moths had been a little too harsh on him over the past four decades)

"Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself..."

~Norman Wesley Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

I feel blessed beyond measure with true and wonderful friendships!
I have been SPOILED so much...
Christmas came early this year for me, with meeting wonderful blog friends, unexpected gifts in the mail and friends that took time out of their day to let me come and spend time with them in their kitchen.
I was hoping to have this blogged about last Tuesday, December 6th, but I have had non-stop obligations the past week. Grateful that life is finally slowing down a little.

In order of occurrence, here are photos from my past few weeks of my wonderful Christmas I have had!
My sweet friend Jennifro (here)
mailed me a gift for no reason at all, other than to say
"one good turn deserves another...thought you could enjoy this cookbook"!
YES, I have always loved "The Pioneer Woman cookbook", but never wanted to spend the money on it
I'm SO excited to try some yummy new recipes, like Sour Cream Pancakes, Cowboy Calzones, Chicken Fried Steak and many others.
The day this package arrived it was a nice afternoon full of LOTS of sunshine and blue skies, but, then the grey skies set in and it was dark and dreary and I kept saying to myself
"I miss the sunshine"!
Who would have known that sunshine would arrive later that afternoon in the form of a book, in the form of simple, sweet acts of kindness from a friend who lives clear across the country!
I am RICH in friendships for sure!!

I don't think I have ever been more excited
to meet a blogging friend than Connie (here)

It truly was the highlight of my December
getting to meet this amazing woman!
Out of all of the wonderful women that I know in the blogging world she has been the one that has inspired me the most.

She possesses all of those homemaker skills that I would love to have and be better at AND she has such a wonderful way with words and the best sense of humor.
Her daughter Camille was marrying a man from Rexburg and we got an invitation to the wedding reception.
JOY is what I experienced getting to meet her and her wonderful husband Andy.
It was such a great time and we enjoyed great conversations.
She is SO NICE!!

My little Ethan Kip just LOVED Connie SO much, that all night long
(and for most of the day on Saturday), he kept saying
"Connie is amazing! I really wish she could be my grandma. I know that I already have 2 grandmas, but I wish that Connie could be one of them as well. I really hope we get to meet her again.
Did you know that she is just awesome"!

I can't believe what she sent us home with...
a jar of Grape Juice, Grape Jelly and Apricot Preserves!
I made up a batch of Buttermilk Biscuits (here)
and we opened up the Apricot preserves and we were in absolute HEAVEN!!
My kids commented over and over that they haven't had better Apricot jam/preserves!

Saturday, December 3rd,
we were busy trimming our house for Christmas and so it was late when we got the mail and there was a Walmart bag tied to our mail box with a package in it.
It was from my sweet friend Ann Marie (here)
Oh my goodness, the beauty that the box held, Stitched Christmas art, glitter butterflies, a heartfelt note and it was all wrapped in the the most awesome white paper with glitter polka dots that I have ever seen!!
It was one of those HAPPY moments
to know that someone out there was thinking of me!
I can't believe how spoiled I am!!

(who has a gorgeous smile that brightens anyone's day!)
And then there is this WONDERFUL friend Tauna (here)
I have been the recipient of her chocolates on many an occasion and she just dropped us off a bag of chocolate covered cinnamon bears for Halloween and they were better than ANY chocolate covered cinnamon bears you can purchase at the store.
So, I thought I would just ask her if she would let me a know a good place to purchase chocolate AND if she could email me with instructions how you "dip" cinnamon bears because I have tried and had no such luck.
Not only did she order chocolate for me (as well as toasted coconut),
she took an afternoon
on one of her precious afternoons off and showed me all of the tricks of the trade
to making HAND DIPPED chocolates!
She is truly AMAZING to watch her mix and work the chocolate.
Hopefully, someday I can be half as skilled as she is with my hands, when I work with the chocolate!!
AND I love her cute cozy kitchen...it is PERFECT!!
She used her chocolate for us to dip
(she wanted me to save my block for chocolate dipping at my house...truly an extra miler)
and then she had orange and peppermint fondant for us to dip, we dipped cinnamon bears, we dipped some caramels AND we made some HAYSTACKS!!
for the gift of time that you gave to me TAUNA.
I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!
(Happy to say, I finally put my large 10 pound block of chocolate to use, by dipping 5 pounds of Cinnamon Santas, caramels, a pound of Orange Slices and made another bunch of Haystacks...NOW to just have the time to put my boxes of goodies together to deliver to friends, neighbors and family)

All I can say, is WOW,
I have some of the worlds most amazing friends and
they are women that have inspired me greatly in my life
AND women that I know because of the wonderful world of blogging!
Here's to friendship!!
(hoping I can be half as great of a friend to them as they have been to me!)


gigi said...

We have some of the same blogging friends and you feel the same way I do about them. What a God Sent they are! Can't wait to meet You and Ann Marie one day too.
Great pictures of such fun memories!
Merry Christmas!

gigi said...

P.S. Love the cookbook and theose Sour Cream Pancakes are the bomb!!

Alene Cardoza said...

Kimmie, Connie is my neighbor and Visiting Teacher. You are right, she's wonderful!
She is an inspiration to me and she has such a wonderful family also.
I'm so excited for Camille! I had both of her daughters in Nursery and I love and miss them so much!
I so enjoy reading your blog as I know my sisters do also.


Valerie said...

That's a lot of great stuff! :)
With some wonderful, fabulous ladies.
I love the Christmas mouse...sorry that it finally met it's demise. Santa Mouse has always been a fun tradition that my mom has done~ so I have lots of cute little mice decorations.

Ann Marie said...

I could hear the love and excitment in your voice as I was reading this! :)

I love all of those people you mentioned as well.. and I am grateful that you have become such great friends!

Isn't the blogging world fun??

You are a great woman.. and I feel fortunate to have learned much from you! ((hugs))

Cherie said...

Such great women!! I had dinner with Connie and Anne Marie and a few others a year or so ago and they are all such very neat women!
Tauna just goes without saying and I have been wanting to dip chocolates with her forever - wish I lived even closer! :-D
Happy Day! Glad you have been spoiled.

P.S. Loved your Christmas card it is just beautiful!

Cherie said...

P.S. And btw...CRUD! I always thought I was your favorite - Wahhhhh - Now I come to find out it's Connie, and not only that but according to the comment you left on Tauna's blog both Tauna and Connie are the most inspiring women out in Blogland to you...Wahhhh that means I don't even rate.
(Hand up to forehead, with overexagerated keening and whining)...How can I go on??? Sniff Sniff

(wink) ;-D

Garden of Egan said...

Kimmie!!!! It was such a fun day. It was good for me to try and teach. Until that experience I had never really thought about my hands and what they do .... they just do.

We will do more for Valentines Day for sure.

It looks like your week was wonderful.
It is such a priviledge to get to know so many wonderful women through this thing called blogging. Some of the most inspiring women ever.
...........and you are one of the tops!

Connie said...

Such kind words about me! Thank you. You know I feel the same way (X10)about you! I am always inspired when I come to your blog!
Isn't it amazing how we make such wonderful friends through blogging? It's mind boggling!

Love Tauna and AnnMarie! What great gifts they gave you! They're wonderful women too.