December Photo Challenge 2019

December Photo Challenge 2019

I DID IT!! I have posted a photo from every day this year.

Before you look at the December pictures, I will warn you that some of the captions are a s-t-r-e-t-c-h.  I had a one-to-one ratio of captions to pictures this month, so I had to make it work.

 

If you want, you can also check out the first eleven months of the year:

On the first day of Christmas break…

On the first day of Christmas break…

…I went for a really long hike.

Hiking, in my opinion, is one of the most peaceful ways to spend a morning.  I love feeling the crisp, pure air on my face and hearing nothing but crunching leaves and chirping birds.

Hanging Rock, NC in winter

Read more

The Ten Best Things About Christmas

The Ten Best Things About Christmas

1. Celebrating the day that Christ was born to die so that I could live for Him

2. Spending time with family

family

Read more

Joy: Advent Week 4

Joy: Advent Week 4

When I was little, I loved any song with the word joy, mostly because my middle name is Joye (pronounced joy), and I liked the idea that people were singing about me.

One of the most common Christmas carols with the word joy is “Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts.  Surprisingly, Watts’s inspiration was not Luke 2, the account of Jesus’ birth, but Psalm 98, a psalm that praises Christ for His imminent return.  That’s right: one of our favorite “Christmas” songs is actually about Christ’s second coming.

Read more
Simple Joy Saturday #49

Simple Joy Saturday #49

 

On Saturdays, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

December 16-22

1. Giving away presents

This week, I distributed presents to my coworkers and friends. As cliche as it sounds, I am sure giving the presents to my friends brought me as much joy as they felt receiving the gifts.

Read more

Banana Peanut Butter Pancake Bars

Banana Peanut Butter Pancake Bars

My favorite family tradition is Christmas morning breakfast.  We devour homemade waffles, bacon, and fruit before we open presents.  Christmas morning at our house is slow and peaceful.

If your family tends to have a more rushed Christmas morning, then this is the perfect Christmas morning breakfast for you.  You can bake these pancake bars a night or two before and warm them in the microwave on Christmas morning.  They are dense, chewy, and slightly sweet, just like an extra-thick pancake.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of pancake mix + the extra ingredients listed on the package (water, eggs, milk, oil, etc.)
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare pancake batter according to the directions on the package.
  • Stir in cocoa powder, 2 tbs peanut butter, 1 banana (mashed), and the powdered sugar.
  • Pour batter into a pan that has been coated with non-stick spray.
  • Microwave remaining peanut butter about 30 seconds, until drippy.  Use a spoon to pour peanut butter in a zig-zag pattern across the top of the pancake bars. 
  • Cut remaining banana into slices, and arrange the slices on the top of the pancake bars.
  • Bake pancake bars for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  • Let cool completely before cutting.
  • Eat and enjoy!

P.S. I am linking up with Angie and her cohosts Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens for Fiesta Friday.

Noel: Advent Week 3

Noel: Advent Week 3

Leave it to the grad student who is studying English to research the etymology of noel

Noel is a French word which means Christmas (go figure), but it is derived from the Latin word nātālis, meaning birthday.  As I thought about nātālis, I geekily marveled at the phonestheme: natalis, natal, nativity, native, nation, natural…

But I digress; I am not giving an English lesson today.  Instead, I want to talk about the first noel, the holy nativity.

Read more