Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Cookies, My Secret Santa Box, and a Holiday Selfie


If you know any teachers, you know we live for Christmas break. School events pile on top of each other day after day during the school year until we can't remember when we have taken a good deep breath.

Last week I did lots of deep breathing. Happily.

Selfies are harder than they look. Especially if you are trying to include two non-social-media types and a sleeping baby. But, somehow, everyone was smiling. 


I only wish our Chicago tribe could have stuck their heads into the shot, but maybe next Christmas. 



My sweet daughter-in-law came over one day and we baked and decorated cookies. (The blue are coconut, the yellow lemon, the red peppermint, the orange are orange, and the green almond.)


We made up some of my Super Secret Prize-Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies, too. (Back when I was a stay-at-home mom, my recipe won second prize in a contest at Wal-Mart. I won a mixer.)

I also baked some pumpkin bread, some homemade cinnamon rolls, and the aptly-named Angel Biscuits. We shared a delightful Christmas morning brunch with family. For the first time, I used my mom's dishes. The table was lovely, I think.


My Secret Santa box arrived. Did I get the best Secret Santa of all? I'm pretty sure I did. Coffee, toffee, three wonderful books, and, yes, that's a real Eiffel Tower from Paris. Thank you, JMill at JMill Wanders!


Believe it or not, both my husband and my son and daughter-in-law got me books for Christmas. 


Here was another surprise. My husband is a gem cutter, and he cut a gemstone for me from one of the bigger garnets I found in Montana last summer!


Lots of other wonderful surprises, too. Gifts from the children at school including a homemade book. A rosary from Jerusalem. A handmade beaded cross. Beautiful scarves. 

But the best gift this year, of course, is my darling Annie. 


Merry Christmas, everyone!



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

36 comments:

  1. Oh, wonderful photos, especially the selfie and Annie! I adore the table setting....I used to have Franciscan Desert Rose, but now I have Franciscan Apple...I gave away the Desert Rose, but I still love it and enjoy seeing it.

    Yummy looking cookies...coconut is a favorite. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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  2. Aww. It looks like you had a lovely Christmas. I am especially jealous of your cut garnet. It's amazing that your husband could do that for you and even more special because you found it yourself. Though I'm sure it's not as precious to you as your little Annie, who is absolutely adorable.

    Hope you have a great week and thank you for stopping by my blog!

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  3. The best Christmas present EVER! :) And I love the selfie, too. Hope your next week is as great.

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  4. As a teacher, I definitely relate to the feeling of forgetting how to breath. ;-( Our school shutdown didn't begin until Tuesday, which is the point when I began to get a little excited for Christmas. The next day, I worked on our annual family newsletter. Then Christmas Eve, my husband and I attended a church service and watched a Christmas movie. By that time, I felt revved for Christmas!

    A successful selfie with five people. Wow! The dishes look lovely and the cookies delicious. Your gifts similar to mine. Books, books, and more books. I also got music and a couple of decorative watches from Malaysia. The gemstone is a unique gift.

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday break. It'll go fast!

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  5. What a wonderful Christmas, Deb! And Annie looks like such an angel! Enjoy the rest of your Christmas break!

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas... and I love the group selfie!

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  7. What a wonderful Christmas! I bet being a gem cutter is fascinating!

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  8. Your Secret Santa box looks amazing! Sounds like you had a great Christmas :)

    Thanks for visiting my post earlier :)

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  9. Love the selfie!! turned out wonderful :) Your Mother's Desert Rose dishes are fabulous too. Great pattern. So jealous of your Secret Santa box!

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  10. What a wonderful Christmas! I'm sure your baking is simply divine! I like your mother's dishes. They are adorable! Your Secret Santa and that gem-cutting husband of yours gave you beautiful gifts! I hope you enjoy them! Have a happy new year!

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  11. Sounds like an awesome Christmas and Annie is SO cute!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings Enter my 2nd Annual Blogoversary Giveaway

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  12. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. The necklace is beautiful. I hope you have a great week!
    Britt @ Spare Time book blog
    My STS: http://sparetimebookblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/stacking-shelves.html

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  13. Such a wonderful joyous post Deb, I'm glad you had such a beautiful Christmas. It must be very tricky buying books for you- they all did an awesome job, and your Secret Santa box is amazing- I have the two French books, but haven't read them yet of course.

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  14. What a lovely Christmas! Your Secret Santa gift looks wonderful and I'm in love with the whole concept of the necklace. Not only is it a pretty necklace but what a story that goes with it! Have a happy New Year and a great week!

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  15. Your table does look lovely -- very festive!

    Annie sure is cute and looks very much in the Christmas spirit!

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  16. What a sweet little angel baby. Children make Christmas,so much better. Yay to books for Christmas! Have a fabulous New Year. :)

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  17. Your Christmas sounds wonderful, and those cookies look so good! I bet you had a lovely time. Plus, you got a lot of great books to begin the new year with. Have a happy New Year!

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  18. It looks like you had an amazing Christmas this year! Feel free to send some cookies this way! :P I hope you enjoy your new books and have an amazing week! :D

    Here's my Weekly Recap!

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  19. Such an adorable baby! Looks like you had a good Christmas. The chocolate chip cookies look delish.

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  20. Sounds like a perfect Christmas, love the selfie and the photo of gorgeous Annie. Enjoy your new books and that Secret Santa pressie is epic!!

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  21. Yes, your table WAS lovely. I have the same dishes---they were my grandma's---I love them.

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  22. I always think I'm going to really rest during the holiday break but with my kids home, that's not going to happen. :-) My schedule changes though, so that's good. Your little Annie is so cute!

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  23. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I am enjoying my break too. Here is what I read last week. Happy reading!

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  24. Those are great photos. Annie is adorable. And that necklace is very nice, how special.

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  25. Wonderful holiday memories which can be treasured forever. Happy New Year!

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  26. What lovely photos and the selfie worked out really well. Yes as a retired teacher I get that deep breathing and relaxing in the Christmas break. What I remember is almost being too exhausted to celebrate Christmas. Annie is indeed adorable and don't children bring such joy.

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  27. What a thoughtful gift from your husband! Sounds like you had a great Christmas all around.

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  28. Omigosh, Annie is SO CUTE! Love the table decoration as well. And relatives that give books for Christmas? Where do I get some of those?!?!?! :p Happy new Year!

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  29. Annie is SO ADORABLE!!

    Will you share that chocolate chip cookie recipe? :)

    ENJOY this last week of 2015, and Happy New Year!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading



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  30. Annie is so cute! I love the garnet necklace. It's so thoughtful and personal! The cookies look delicious! Enjoy your week!

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  31. It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. And my do those cookies ever look yummy.
    All the best in the new year to you.

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  32. What a year! Annie is beautiful. Neat gift on the gemstone, sneaky too!

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