Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Because we once lived in a dark land, a time before the warming hope of Christ, but now we celebrate the Light of the World who now shines the Brilliance of Grace upon us! We wake to wonder! -"Beauty of Advent"

Merry Christmas, may you enjoy all the wonders of the season!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Wesley in the Wintertime...

OK, let's be honest. It's probably not that pleasant to be stuffed into this snowsuit. But our sweet little blue-eyed boy found a reason to smile anyway. Cousin Andrew Hempel came by to take some pics of our kiddos for our Christmas card this year. After shots by the tree, we stepped outside to take a few in the backyard. The Bannister family sure is blessed with some good photographers!

Charlie looks like such a boy in this pic. I got him and Bob matching furry brown hoodies, they look so darn cute all matchy. They didn't have them in Wes' size ;(

Bearded Bob-o and his boy. I remember Charlie wearing that little wool airplane hat, love it. That's the great thing about having a second child of the same gender (or a third, Manda...Beth!), you get to relive all those wonderfully cute duds.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Christmas mouse and a good soup

The holiday season is here and, if you're anything like me, you are relishing in the pure delight of all December brings, from the taste of candy canes dipped in hot cocoa to the smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree, to the oh-so-sweet sounds of holiday classics, the toe-warming crackle of a good fire, to the heart-warming good feeling of having family gathered close. Above all, I always cherish the aura of mystery and beauty that just sits above the earth at this time of year; I think that God makes everything just a little more special during Christmas because he too is celebrating his son's birth and the gift given to the world.
OK, back to reality. I had to post this pic because it illustrates so well the phenomenon of family photos (at least in our family). Someone is always grumpy. In my family, I was often this person and now, sweet Amelia is carrying on the tradition with her powerful pout.

Hmm, still pouting. She wasn't loving our search for the perfect Christmas tree. I think we made the best selection ever this year. We've found a farm that's close to us and not so busy for tree-fetching. We found this wonderful Tannenbaum (does that mean "tree" in German?) right away and got to work on the business of chopping. Charlie again brought his little plastic saw to help and I found myself regrettfully wondering if next year he will be too "mature" to bring his little saw along. I hope not. Anyway, Bob is cutting the tree down when I spot a little ball of fluff near the stem. I asked him if it might be a nest and back away to allow him to investigate. He pulled some of the fluff off and it blew away in the wind (like the 'down on a thistle'). Then he finished chopping and we went over to get it baled up for the drive home. We mentioned the 'nest' to the guy who was baling and he started poking and prodding the remaining fluff. Sure enough, out hopped a cute little field mouse and ran away through the field. The kids saw it too, so it made for a delighful Christmas memory! Of course, I did have the thought that if we had NOT mentioned the little ball of fluff to the baling guy, we might have had that little mouse jump out at home in our living room. I think secretly Bob may have thought it would be fun if that happened, you know how men kind of enjoy seeing women squirm and act all "girly"--accentuates their "toughness" I suppose.

Little Wesley's first Christmas this year. He was so cute playing with the lights and jingle bell on the tree. He probably would have enjoyed playing with the Christmas mouse too.
Since it is snowing beautifully outside and I have a quick and yummy tomato soup recipe handy from emailing it to a friend, I'll post it here. Buy some crusty bread, put on some Nat King Cole and enjoy!
Tomato Cheddar Soup
6-8 T butter
2 cloves garlic
8T flour
3C milk
1big can tomato juice
6-8 oz. sharp cheddar shredded
Saute garlic in butter and add flour and milk. Simmer until thick. Add tomato juice, tomato and cheese. I also like to add half a can of diced tomatos and green chilies for a kick.
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