She’s Doing the Happy Dance!

No, it’s not because I’m nipping on the Smirntopf. I’ve met my November 30th deadlines and it makes me footloose and fancy free.

But back to the Smirntopf. If you follow my blog you know that way back in the summer I was inspired by Rosella to try making Rumtopf but I called mine Smirntopf because I used Smirnoff Vodka with the fruit and sugar instead of Rum. Here’s another post about Rumtopf on Rosella’s blog.

This is what it looked like when we added the last bit of fruit, sugar, and vodka and before we stirred and strained it.

Dear and I stirred the Smirntopf and strained our Smirntopf and have a pot of the fruit wondering what we will do with it. After straining the liquid from the fruit I stirred it real good and strained it again through cheesecloth before I filled the containers.

Now I’m wondering who might enjoy a little container of our Smirntopf…

Today is the last day of November and I have some final Grace Challenge thoughts to post.

I’m thankful for the inspiration and encouragement from my blogging friends.

I’m thankful to God that he gave me the words I needed to complete a project.

I’m thankful that we are entering the Christmas season and I’m turning my thoughts to focusing on Jesus during Advent.

When we focus on all we’ve been given it’s easier to give. At our church our pastor said “Grateful people give in response to God’s grace.”

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

My brother had a great suggestion for continuing the Grace Challenge.

“As you enter the advent season, a season traditionally marked by gift giving (graciousness) make your giving not out of obligation but truly out of grace. ¬†Here are some Grace Challenge encouragements for your gift giving, for your abundance of good deeds:

  1. Make a list of the people you are buying gifts for this Christmas season in your Grace Challenge Notebook.
  2. Pray for them daily; Give thanks for them daily.
  3. With your gift, write a note that expresses the content of your prayer and thanks for the person you have been gracious towards. Use Ephesians 1 and Colossians 1 as examples for your writing and prayer.
  4. Believe that your prayer and thanksgiving is worth more than the monetary value of the gift given. “



Thank you to all of you who prayed that the Marine’s would let Andrew come to Atlanta with Katie. The powers that be approved his trip and we are pleased and filled with joy!

I made a trip to Hobby Lobby this week and they had a lot of goodies on sale for 40% off and other items for 50% off. I bought that Joy sign that was in their Christmas section but it’s staying up at my house all year long. They also had all their glassware at 50% off so I bought some glass containers for my Smirntopf. I’ve been waiting for this kind of sale to purchase them.

Sure hope my Smirntopf turns out well. It will look pretty in these containers for gift giving.

After Thanksgiving we’ll start thinking about giving the Smirntopf a taste test and getting it ready to package for gifts.

Today I’m thankful for…

~ God making it possible for Andrew to come to Atlanta.

~ Our trip to Atlanta where we get to see Andrew and Katie.

~ Our second cookbook and all the encouraging words we heard from all our friends in blogdom.

~ Getting a couple more of my recipes for the cookbook completed.

~ Our small group and the 2 new couples that have joined us.

~ Dear’s promotion at work.

~ A day off today to just putz around and get ready for Atlanta.

~ Our Women’s Bible Study and the beginning of our study of the book of John.

~ That our son Dan is now the proud owner of his own home and land and has slept there for a week!

~ That our son Josh was recognized in his industry for his humanitarian endeavors.

Last but not least…I’ve lost 12 pounds!!!

What are you thankful for…

Adios Pears and Summer!

I’m going to participate in Kathleen’s Let’s Dish this week with a table set for Dear’s birthday and a show and tell of what I did with all my pears from my tree.

A combination of lavender and green with the last of the fresh lavender from my bushes for the center of the table. I liked the look of the round shimmery green placemats I bought on clearance at Fred Meyer for 99 cents each. The purple glasses and green glasses are from World Market. The napkins are from Anthropologie but I purchased them at Goodwill.

Now for my pear experiments…

Quartered fresh pears tossed in sugar and quick cooking oats, butter, lemon juice, and a little flour. I topped that mix with pastry shells split and laid on top and baked till the shells were golden.

My first pear tart looked good but the crust was wrong…

My second pear tart that I made for Dear’s birthday dinner was more successful. The crust is a keeper and I’ll be posting the recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook in October.

Pear sauce goes a long way. Here it is with buttermilk pancakes. Yummy. We also had fresh cut pears with lemon juice and sugared lightly as a topping for buttermilk pancakes. I finally pulled out those strawberry bordered plates to use before fall is upon us. I bought them at Goodwill.

Last but not least a few cups of fresh pears peeled, cored, and chopped then sugared well for my last addition to my Smirntopf! This will be ready to enjoy at Christmas time personally and as gifts…

Hope your last weeks of summer are going well…

North Head Lighthouse…

On our way to the North Head Lighthouse we stopped at a scenic lookout. We were able to get a small glimpse of the lighthouse from here. We also read about the tragic history for ships in this area.

Three shipwrecks in one week in 1853.

It was an easy walk from the parking area to the lighthouse.

Remember on your walk away from your destination that it is good to look back and get yet another view.

Yesterday was a very busy day around this old house. Is anyone else surprised that it is Thursday already? I’m elbow deep in ripe pears trying to get creative. Today I’ll be working on pear sauce. I finished off my smirntopf with a few cups of diced pears. My jar is full so now we just wait until Christmas for the results!

Happy Thursday everyone!