What's Your Name????
Hey friends,

We interrupt this Christmas and New Year's celebration ...

I was having a conversation with family and friends recently and we began discussing the most unusual names we had ever heard.
These are a few we came up with. See if you can add to our list.

Lacey Curtain

Becky Rita Book

Justin Case

Cricket Bugg

Minnie Blinds

Bobby Pinn

Zoe Ology

Candi Kane

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

Butter Mints
Good Morning Friends,

Here's the gang last Saturday as we prepared to make our newest Christmas Treat...
Home-made Butter mints.
Erica was sweet to bring the dough already made and we had all the fun pressing the dough into tiny Christmas molds.

We couldn't get started without a little Pumpkin Coffee for Marybeth and some Butter-Toffee Coffee for Erica.

The girls thought it would be fun to "monogram" out initials in the mints.
How many words can you make from those letters?

I'll post the recipe soon!

Merry Christmas

Christmas Song
Good Morning,
To those of you stopping by after reading the Proverbs 31 devotional

How wonderful that each of us has the opportunity to choose a heart song each day.
During this special time of Christmas celebration I hope you will pause a moment today to choose a new heart-song celebrating the powerful, lovely, wonderful, life-giving, everlasting Name of Jesus! Sing forth praises to the name of Jesus today!

This year will be our first Christmas without Catherine, (my precious mother-in-law) Nick, my sweet daddy and our beloved dog Max. It's tempting to sing a somber and melancholy song of grief this year as we miss them more than words can tell; however we have chosen a different song to sing.

By focusing on the needs of others and giving gifts to a struggling family our heart song remains strong as we praise the name of Jesus!
I hope you will find a way to bless someone today, it's one way to create a strong and praise worthy heart song of your own.

Merry Christmas

Secret Santa
Merry Christmas Friends,

I have had the most awesome week ever despite hurting my back and being off my feet and off balance for a few days (some might say I'm always off balance Ha!).

Tom and I decided to fore go "large" Christmas gifts for one another this year in order to provide gifts for a friend of mine who is a single mom of Three.
My friend is struggling financially and was only going to spend $5.00 each on her three children at the Dollar Store.
Excuse Me?

While I don't have anything against the Dollar Store, in fact I LOVE The Dollar Tree and visit them on a regular basis; this is different.
I couldn't sleep thinking about those children not having gifts to open on Christmas morning.
So... I have bought, wrapped, delivered and hidden Christmas gifts for three precious children who deserve some comfort and JOY this Christmas Season.

After enduring things children should NEVER be subjected to they need to be pampered and loved on and I'm grateful to be HIS hands and feet this year.
Here are a few pictures of what the Lord provided.

I hope you will know the joy of being someones Secret Santa.

Merry Christmas Sweetest Friends

Easy Christmas Recipes

Hey there Bloggy Friends,
I'm starving today so I started looking for easy recipes on the web.
Here are a few things I found.

Cheese Ball:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
12 - 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
Chopped pecans
4 pecan halves for garnish
Mix together cream cheese, grated cheddar, and dressing mix.
Form into one large ball or two smaller balls.
Roll in chopped pecans to cover.
Decorate the top with pecan halves.
Refrigerate at least a couple of hours or overnight before serving.

Pineapple Cheese Ball
1 8oz. Package cream cheese softened
1/4 cup finely chopped green bellpepper
2 tbls. chopped onion
1 8oz. can-crushed pineapple drained very well
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cream together cream cheese,green pepper, onion, pineapple and seasoned salt.
Form a ball and roll it in the chopped walnuts.
Chill well

Easy As 123 Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup sugar (you can cut this down to 3/4 cup, if you prefer)
1 large egg
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
Combine sugar and egg in mixing bowl, stirring till smooth.
Add peanut butter and mix in thoroughly.
Roll into walnut-sized balls.
Place the balls on ungreased cookie sheets at least 2" apart.
Flatten with the tines of a fork.
Turn 90 degrees and use fork again to create cross hatches.
Bake 10 minutes at 375F (or till done).
Let cool in pan for 1 minute before removing to cooling rack.

Baklava- Another New Tradition

Good Morning Friends,
I had the best Saturday ever!!! Marybeth Whalen, two of her daughters and her friend Erica came to my house to bake Baklava. Last year I got together with Marybeth and her mom to bake the tasty Greek treat and then they showed me how to make the chocolate covered cherries I showed you last week.
We've decided to make it a new Christmas tradition to bake together each year.
Marybeth is pouring a little OJ and sparkling grape juice for Rebecca and Ashley

Rebecca is cutting the assembled pastry before we bake it. She is a natural!

Ashley and Erica are checking our work

Ashley is studding one pan of the Baklava with whole cloves. They are really more for decoration than anything else. CAUTION: Remove the clove before eating the pastry or you will have "clove breath" for days!!
Rebecca is so proud of her hard work

We enjoyed a little conversation while the pastry is baking

A little game of Wii Bowling is always to good help pass the time while the pastry is baking.


Client of the Month
I know what you're thinking... Client of the Month? What? Huh?

Many of you know that I have been training at the
Matthews Fitness Together Studio
Matthews3022 Weddington Rd. Suite 200
Matthews, NC 28105
Phone 704-847-3859

The studio highlights one client a month and reports on their progress.

Here is the actual write up for December:

Zoe Elmore brings a burst of sunshine every time she walks on the doors. Her passion for exercising is absolutely contagious. She has dropped 6% body fat since starting with us and has gained 13 pounds of muscle! Zoe is unstoppable - she completed 110 push-ups on her last assessment! Yes, we said 110.

Zoe works extremely hard and her results are well-deserved. She recently committed to training four times per week and always reschedules any missed sessions. Her results are evidence of her commitment to every aspect of health and fitness - training, cardio and nutrition.

Zoe is also part of a powerful speaking ministry for Proverbs 31 women's ministry and continually updates her blog with her fitness progress. Check out her at zoeelmore.com for some inspiration!Way to go ZOE!

Now what am I sharing this all of you?

The answer is simple...

The Lord is using these young men and women who serve as my trainers to whip me into a fit woman, and I mean whip!

I'm embarrassed to admit I was so out of shape when I began I almost threw-up after each session and could hardly move for days after a work-out.

BUT with the help of skilled and talented trainers I've been able to reap the benefits of some pretty hard work.

How fitting.... and what a clear picture. Our spiritual lives don't get in shape by themselves any more than our physical bodies do. Both take a lot of commitment and hard work and sometimes the whip needs to be cracked a time or two.

Friends, I encourage each of you to invest the necessary time and commitment for you to reap the benefits of a strong and fit spiritual life.

As we rush around this time of year and prepare our homes and families for a wonderful celebration PLEASE don't forget to celebrate the "Reason for this Season"

Celebrate your realationship with Christ today

Jesus is Better than Santa
Good Morning Sweet friends,

I was reading through the other P31 speakers blogs in the wee hours of the morning today and ran across this timely reminder on Micca Campbell's blog and wanted to share it with all of you.

Tom and I have adopted a single mom of three for Christmas as our Christmas gift to one another and I began shopping for a few items this morning (I love that Target is open at 8:00).
Christmas shopping before work who could ask for more?

As I ran up and down the aisles (I'm working today and only had 30 minutes to shop)
I couldn't help but weep as I put things in my cart.
The young man helping me must have thought I was having some sort of a hormonal break down as the tears fell ever the more with each item we placed in the cart.

My tears were for this young woman and her precious children who have suffered much these last 2 years and for God's provision to them.
His ever increasing faithfulness to them is a testimony beyond belief.
What a privilege to have this opportunity to be "His" hands and feet.
What a joy to be an instrument of His provision.
What an honor to be called to participate in God's work.

I hope this will encourage your hearts today to be "His" hands and feet this Christmas Season.

Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year.
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited.
JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.
You have to stand in line to see Santa.
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap.
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly.
JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry.
" JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.
Santa's little helpers make toys.
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions. Santa may make you chuckle but JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in Christmas.
Jesus is still the reason for the season.

May the Lord Bless and Watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2008.
And may He prosper and bless the work of your hands in the New Year.

Chocolate Covered Cherries
Good Morning Sweet Friends,
We spent the afternoon with our best friends Lisa and Rudy teaching them to make hand-made
Chocolate Covered Cherries

154 little cherries just waiting to be wrapped and dipped

Here they all are wrapped up in their sweet little blankets

Rudy is shaving the paraffin for the melted chocolate

And the dipping begins

Lisa's first attempt was great. Don't they look Yummy?

A well deserved rest for the team

Ornament Exchange
Good Morning Sweet Friends,
Well... Christmas has officially arrived at the Elmore's as the Ornament Exchange is done.

Here are a few pictures of our time together last night.
Thanks and wishes for a very Merry Christmas to each of you!!!

Isn't Lillian beautiful?

Patti and Kim http://www.ksvail.blogspot.com/

Mayra, Katie and Kathleen. Leave a post girlfriends...
no more closet blogging. HA!

Marybeth and Carol. Check out Marybeth blog... she is a mom of 6 http://www.marybethwhalen.com/

Josh was such a good sport to play photographer. He texted Tom and said "There are 800 women here and I need back-up!"
He looks at home with Patti, Kim and Marybeth.

Cheryl, Valerie and Katie
Cheryl brought the most delicious yummy spread
1 package breakfast sausage - cooked and drained
1 1/2 - 2 packages cream cheese
1 can Rotel
Mix and heat til bubbly
Spead on toasted bread, crackers or anything you prefer.
This is so yummy it would be good on a paper napkin

Tom did arrive in time to lend some back-up for Josh. He joined Patti and Kim for a lot of laughs.
Linda is smiling but she wasn't happy when the "hot" ornament of the night was taken.

Kathleen and Linda did manage to end up with a pretty nice ornament after all.

What a beautiful group of friends!!!!

Barb, everyone would love your recipe for the hummus spread. Would you share?

Girls, if you know someone who wasn't able to attend send them to my blog to view your pictures.
Love you

The Dog House
Hey Bloggy Freinds,
My boss just sent this to me.
It's hilarious.

If you have men in your life they should watch this if they don't want to end up in the dog house.

I've always said "Fine jewelry will get any man out of almost any kind of trouble."

Wedding Dresses, Baklava and a Gift
Good Morning Sweet Friends,

I hope each of you is recovering from your turkey hangover and ready for a new week.
It was wonderful having Kelsey here for 5 days and having this time to really get to know her.
Tom is taking her to the airport this morning for her flight home, but she will return for the week between Christmas and New Year.
Saturday I had a wonderful time taking pictures as she tried on wedding dresses and she was stunning in each one!
Really, she could wear a paper bag with a rope tied around the middle and be stunning!

Here's a peek at just one...

Her first attempt at Baklava was a great success!!!

Here's the recipe from my very loved 30 year old Greek cook book.

Yes, we were blessed with a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday indeed.

Now I want to turn our attention to Christmas and here is something fun for you.

My friend Karen Ehman http://karenehman.com/home/

has put together a Twelve Days of Christmas give-away.

I'll let Karen describe it in her own words.

So, beginning next Monday, December 1st, I’ll be hosting a 12 Days of CHRISTmas giveaway right here on my little ole’ blog. Each day December 1-12, in addition to giving you some of my most requested yuletide ideas and easy recipes, I’ll also be featuring one of my fellow Proverbs 31 speakers in a short profile and asking them a holiday question. Then, you answer the same question by leaving a comment and you will be entered into the giveaway. Each day will have a different present for you; a helpful book, an inspirational cd, a fooffy-girly gift or giftcard for a Starbucks. The purpose is to give you ideas and a small cyber-break from the hustle and bustle at your house.
Be sure to hop on over!!!

So... hop on over friends, Karen tells me I'm the first interview.

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