Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Recape of 2009

I can't believe "2009" is now another page written in my book of life. Now I am writing a new chapter "2010". There is so much to be thankful for. Walk with me through the past year of my life, see the good, the bad and the ugly.

Another blessed year with the love of my life!

Last January me and two of my girls went on our first girls trip to Nashville to see Celine Dion. Maybe we can all four take a trip in the future!

In February all of our kids met us in Memphis, TN for the annual "Gin Show". Our daughter, Sarah had a booth selling jewelry,  which is listed on the right side of this page under "My children" web pages as "Sarah's Business". This was a special time because Sarah lives in CO and we aren't able to get together a lot, we made a weekend of it.
While at the "Gin Show" Ben and Ashia announced to the family that they were going to be first time parents we were sooo excited!

In March State won the SEC Championship, we love our Dawgs!

Farming was looking good, we were so excited about our earning potential the crops were some of the best we had ever had. Then the rains came and it rained for weeks, the crops began to rot in the field and there was no way to get them out. We're thankful that we salvaged most of our crops and although we didn't have the profit we once thought we still made a profit.

When we could take a break we went to see our children and grand-children in IN. We always enjoy time spent with them.

The end of July I had my third stomach procedure.
                  The Cloyd Thacker Family    
I am never able to get together with my cousins anymore due to the distance we all live from each other. In September I attended the "Thacker's Family Reunion" and all of my immediate cousins on my Dad's side were there. We had a great time together.

We were blessed with Austin Rivers
September 17, 2009

In October Sarah came home to see Austin.

George, Mary and the girls were able to come too! The girls enjoyed their time with their new cousin. We also celebrated Alayna's 7th birthday.

We were blessed with Joshua William, our first grandson!
December 16, 2009

We lost several family members and close friends in 2009, pictured above was Uncle Allen the most recent. We miss all of them.

We had a very small relaxing Christmas. Read about it HERE!

And GOD Bless YOU!!!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Polar Express Christmas

I have always wanted to wear my pajamas on Christmas day. When Emma wore her's to school (Day Two) I was sooo jealous. Our family was small this year so Ben and Ash graciously volunteered to host Christmas and we had "A Polar Express Christmas."

The house was decorated so cute and the food wasn't bad either.

We had a lot of down time, time to relax and rest! Ash isn't pictured above but she had her time also. After lunch we set back to watch a movie and most of us ended up taking a nap.

We all opened gifts! Even Sydney had some things under the tree! Punkin liked the colors and sounds of the paper rattling but the gifts really didn't interested her.

Of course it was ALL about Punkin! She was soo much fun she would laugh and try to talk, then she would get mad at all of us. I think she has the Good's temper? LOL Her favorite thing from us was a bow on one of my gifts from "Sassy Designs"(thanks Natalie). She loved her "Praise Baby" cd and play center from Mom and Dad, they knew just what to buy!

The little Good family, aren't they cute?

And, the big Good family, well excluding the kids, grand-kids, and grand-dogs. Hey we may be older but we still have fun!

I didn't have too cook a lot but I did, we had way more food than we could eat. I started out to make a few things and baked for days. Although it wouldn't be Christmas unless we had tons of food not just Christmas day but everyday through the week. That's part of it you eat, and eat, and eat, and when you are full you eat some more. This is the only time of year that I allow everyone to gorge all week long. Look below for some of the recipes that I used.

I took this from a Southern Living magazine when I was visiting George and Mary and it is wonderful! I used all gluten-free ingredients.

Upside Down Apple Cake

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 lg. Granny Smith Apples, peeled n cut into 1/2-in. thick slices
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
3/4 tsp. gr. cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened & divided
2 tsp. brandy (I omitted the brandy)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 lg. eggs, seperated
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose baking mix (I used Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking/Pancake mix)
1/8 tsp. gr. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted & fragrant, stirring after 5 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375.
Toss apple slices with lemon juice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 10-in. cast iron skillet over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
Sprinkle pecans over brown sugar mixture. Arrange apples in 2 concentric circles over pecans.
Beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add milk, sour cream, & remaining 1 tsp. vanilla, beating just until blended.
Whisk together baking mix, nutmeg, & remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add nutmeg mixture to butter mixture, beating just until blended.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Spread batter over apples in skillet.
Bake at 375 for 50 to 54 minutes until a wooden pick inserted halfway into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto a serving plate, replacing any topping that sticks to skillet on cake.

I took this recipe from a blogger I follow, "Gluten-Free Krums" and they were very good. A bit crumbly due to being gluten-free but very good and EASY!!

Click here for Flour-less Peanut Butter Blossoms

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!! I'll share more recipes in the future.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Christmas Card For You!

Steve and I recently were on a trip and listening to Christmas CD's when we came across this song we decided that it is our Christmas theme song!

Joseph And Mary's Boy 
Hear a preview HERE
(Don Cook/Keith Whitley)

Out here is the country there's magic in the air.
It's the middle of December there's excitement everywhere

Everyone's invited, the celebration's planned
The gift is just what's in your heart and not what's in your hand

Who's the one we need to thanks
Who's the party for
Who's the one responsible for all this peace and joy
Who deserves the credit for the blessings we enjoy
Preacher said last Sunday it was Joesph and Mary's boy

There were times we didn't think we'd make it through the year
The bankers tried to take our farms but somehow we're still here

I don't know how the crops survived the drought and then the rain
It must have been a miracle how else could you explain

Who's the one we need to thanks
Who's the party for
Who's the one responsible for all this peace and joy
Who deserves the credit for the blessings we enjoy
Preacher said last Sunday it was Joesph and Mary's boy

The Christ Child born in Bethlehem
He was Joesph and Mary's boy

Merry Christmas and God Bless You ALL!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Mom's and My Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas. I love the excitement in the air of the festivities. Christmas is a time when most are happy and ready to receive! It may not be just gifts given, sometimes it's other things.

My Mom was BIG on Christmas and always made it loads of fun for our family. We decorated like it was going out of style!

We always baked Onion Bread and took it to the elderly in our community. They loved Momma's onion bread and I hated it although Mom made the time spent baking and delivering it a lot of fun. Now that I think back maybe the little old ladies hated it too but if they did they never let my Momma know it.

Every year we made my Great Grandmother's "Fig Cake" recipe.  Now, we all loved fruitcake but NO WAY Momma had to make Fig Cake instead because it was her Grandmother's recipe and she had always had it growing up. I hope I don't do this to my children?

We drove around Jackson as a family at least one night during the season and looked at the Christmas lights. Dad really didn't enjoy looking at lights with us probably because we could look for hours and we wanted him to drive real slow. Dad use to drive really fast to get it over with and boy did he catch it from all of us. We also visited historical places to look at the decorations.

On Christmas morning we got up early, opened gifts and ate "Sausage Balls" a tradition I have continued through the years although we don't get up early anymore!

Mom would set the table for Christmas day like no other time of year. I remember the last Christmas that Momma was able to serve us she served her fruit salad in wine glasses. During the meal she broke one of the glasses and she was worried that there was glass in some of the food. We as a family tried to assure her that the food was all ok but with her being nervous due to her last accident she dropped another glass and broke it in the midst of two dishes. Without a doubt this time there was glass in some of the food and no one would be able to eat any more of it. Poor Momma cried and cried, we can laugh now but then it was not funny.

Even after I got older, married and had a child of my own Momma saw to it that we did these things and because of that Ashia had a taste of Granny Margaret's Christmas cheer. Oh how I wish I had my Momma back here to make onion bread, fig cake and a disaster of our meal.

These are just a few of my Christmas traditions:

I love Christmas music I could listen to it all year long, but I don't because I want it to be special during the holiday season. This year I bought  "The Hymns and Carols of Christmas"  by Jim Brickman. It is wonderful, I can't believe I didn't buy it earlier! By the way I love Jim Brickman's music!

I love buying my kids that special stocking for my house. Each child and most of the grandchildren have a stocking that in one way or the other makes me think of them. I haven't bought for the new grand-babies yet I'm waiting on them to develop a personality of their own. It just wouldn't be Christmas without my hanging the stockings.

I love soft peppermint not just for Christmas but anytime of year. But when else do you find a container like this? I'll enjoy this for a while if I don't give most of it away! During the Christmas season I always have lots of candy and snacks around the house.

I love Christmas stories, movies etc. I always buy my grandchildren a book at Christmas and write them a special note inside. What better way to spend time with the grandchildren than to read them a book! A friend of mine recently posted a story that is so true and I'd like to share IT with you!

I love Christmas villages.  I know many people leave them out all year, but my village was once my mother's village, so i keep it safely tucked away until Christmas then I bring it out and set it up for all to enjoy.

I love Christmas trees, they are beautiful and each one has so much history on it.  This year we debated on whether to have a tree or not, because we will not be having Christmas at our house.  Although Steve and I felt it wouldn't be Christmas without a tree, so here it is!

I love nativity scenes.  This one is extra special to us because my mother hand-painted each piece.  Look at THIS neat page that I found on the nativity.

I love Christmas cards and send out around sixty each year!  I run to the mailbox everyday in anticipation of who may have sent me a card. For those of you who have THANK YOU if you have not but would like to drop me a note and I'll gladly send you my address!

I have blogged about candles being one of my obsessions. I love buying and burning candles and can never have enough. I always have tons of candles out at Christmas and burn them continually. The candles above were bought a few years ago just to use in centerpieces, they cost too much to burn.

Share with us your favorite Christmas traditions we'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chicken Broccoli Casserole & a list of Christmas lights in our local area!

The girls are gone, Pepaw is running the vacuum cleaner and I am washing up the school girls cloths and cooking lunch and dinner. For lunch I am using some leftover chicken and making homemade chicken salad, a family favorite. For dinner I am making my "Chicken Broccoli Casserole" and serving it with a baby lettuce salad. The girls love this casserole so I thought it would be just the treat to serve before we go to view the "Lights Under Louisville", and maybe Momma will have some leftovers to serve them later.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Servings: 8
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Source: Marion Brummet

Ingredients :
1 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 onion; chopped into small pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp. garlic salt
4 cups broccoli; partially cooked
1 chicken; cooked and chopped
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs

Instructions :
Mix the first six ingredients together and set aside. Mix the chicken, broccoli, breadcrumbs and cheese together then add the mayonnaise mixture to it. Put in a 3x9x12 dish and bake in the oven for 1-hour at 350 degrees.

I make this recipe gluten-free by using, Glutano "Cream of Mushroom Soup Mix".



We had several special times of singing Christmas carols with the girls. I love, love Christmas music so that was right down my alley.

"Lights Under Louisville" was a lot of fun it was cold and rainy so driving through a cavern looking at Christmas lights was the thing to do. These are special times that we will remember for years to come, I hope the girls do.  For all of you local people I ran across this and it looks like fun too. I plan to check it out when we get home. Clink HERE, then click on the letters over Mississippi and it list the info and driving directions.

Here's the list:
Woodland MS Lights
West Point, Mississippi MS
Lizzie Clemmons
820 10th Ave. S.
Columbus, Mississippi 39701

34,000 Christmas Light Show w/ Music
1780 Oswalt Rd
Columbus, Mississippi 39702

Check some of them out, it makes for a good family time. Let us know what you think!!!

Baby Joshua got home right before we left for Louisville and after our tour we hurried home to see him again.

Steve and I will be traveling tomorrow! I'm excited about making plans for Christmas with our SMALL family. Our older girls and their families will not be with us and we'll dearly miss them but we'll try to make the best of it until we're able to all be together again!!!

We LOVE ALL our kids from the youngest to the oldest!!!!