Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Memories

This Christmas was probably the most special Christmas I can remember. 
The older us cousins grow, the closer we get. So everytime all the Bontrager girl cousins are able to come from IA, MO, & TX to get together....we have so many memories from our times together and I am so blessed to have them as my friends and cousins.
I'm posting more about our weekend over on our family blog, but here are a few of the "girl" moments we captured on camera.

On Christmas Eve we spent a little time at Goodwill before heading over to join everyone else at Pizza Hut for dinner.
Teresa, Victoria, Ally, Kenzie, Naomi, Tiffany, Allison, Dorcas, Hannah, Rhoda, & Mary
(I attempted to put the camera on timer, but by the time I started the 10 seconds and got it positioned on the van hood...I only had about 2 seconds left to run across the parking lot and join everyone else. After one try I gave up =))
I love this picture. =) They were all obviously deep in thought.....
And here's all of us at Pizza Hut
(my dear aunt arrived so we put her behind the camera)
We had the annual "teenage & older" girls night at the grandma house. (for those of you who don't know, a "grandma house" is an amish tradition-a little house that amish families build onto their homes for their parents to live in. This little house is built onto the house where my dad grew up and is where my great-grandma lived before she died. Now it is mostly empty and is used as a guest house of sorts)
It is always the perfect place for us rather noisy girls....we can be as loud as we want, as long as we want...and we don't keep anyone else awake because we're in our own little house. =)
This year....we got off right away into some deep discussions about convictions/standards/guidelines/etc and that kept going until probably 12:30am, at which point Allison and Naomi declared they were too tired to stay awake any longer so they left to go sleep in the adjoining house.
(interesting note: we learned the following morning that the "too-tired-to-stay-with-the-party" Allison & Naomi went to bed and proceeded to talk for the next hour and a half. much for being tired!)
Those of us remaining got launched into an extremely interesting personality evaluation of Tiffany. (our goal was to evaluate all of us girls over the weekend, but it didn't happen)
This is a personality test where there are four different options for a variety of strengths/weaknesses.  You have to check one out of each set of four and then add up all your points to figure out if you are 
A} Choleric
B} Sanguine
C} Melancholy
D} Phlegmatic
If you've never done this, or studied it, you simply must! It is SO fascinating to know what you are, and what those around you are....its very helpful in learning to get along with and relate to your family, especially.
At some point we began to get really crazy. Here we were attempting a self-portrait, but Dorcas (who had set the camera on timer) was in such a hurry to get into her position that she tripped, sending us all into hysterical laughter and resulting in the above expressions.
Enjoying blankets, coffee, and another good discussion on Grandma's porch swing, Christmas evening.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Hello all!
Obviously the scrumptious saturday deal is over. 
I am disappointed that I didn't make the full 8 weeks but I am surprised that I kept it going as long as I did so I guess its not all bad. I got close, at least!

This past week has been full to the brim. Preparing to leave my home for 3 months.....lots of music practice w/ my siblings in preparation for the tour....sewing.....a formal banquet..... a surprise birthday party last Saturday with my sister and 10 dear friends (I'll be posting more about that *fabulous* time later).....Christmas preparations (can't WAIT to see these dear cousins who are coming!).....more sewing.....lots of time spent mailing out cds and promotional packets.....a birthday party for a sibling.....accompanying for the community choir performance.....and a huge cooking disaster one hour ago. 
*frowns and smiles inserted here in rapid succession of each other as I remember how horrible it was at the beginning...and how hilarious at the end*
 (more on that to come later as well. Stay tuned. Its a hummer of a story. =))
I may be missing many additional adventures but those are the few that come to my mind at the moment. Life is never dull on the farm! 
Have a blessed weekend, all! I'll be back after Christmas! =)



I'm posting this picture ONLY because it is part of a bargain I was coerced into, and not by my choice.
Just to clarify. =)
So. In Octber we were in Shipshewana with some friends, and one of them unofficially ended up being the photographer for the weekend. She later sent me some of the photos she took...including this one, and also another picture she had found from long, long ago. She said the "long, long ago" picture was only for me to laugh at, and that I was NOT allowed to post it. Of course the minute I saw that photo I knew it HAD to go on the blog. So I responded pleading (with all my skill) that she PLEEEEEASE give me her permission to post that photo, and that I would send her chocolate if she would! In the email, I also commented on the other photos she had sent, and, among other things, I told her that the above photo of me was HORRIBLE and that I hated it.
She promptly emailed back saying that she would discuss it with our other friend who had also been in the "long, long ago" photo, and they would let me know.
I was left to agonize over the outcome of their decision....
Finally they emailed, with this conniving and utterly unkind bargain-
I could post "long, long ago" if I promised to send them both chocolate...
AND post that AWFUL picture of me!
I was horrified and again tried my usually successful pleading skills...but this time to no avail. They were determined to make me post it.
Enough said.
(amazingly enough, I still love them both dearly....and will return the *unkind* favor if the opportunity ever comes my way. =))

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Scrumptious Saturday {6}

::Quick Berry Cream Dessert::
-2 T. plain gelatin
-1/2 cup cold water
-1 cup milk
-1 quart cream
-3 T. maple syrup
-1/2 tsp. vanilla
-3 pints frozen berries
Mix gelatin with cold water. 
Heat 1 cup milk until almost boiling; add the gelatin/water mixture to hot milk to dissolve. 
Whip the cream until thick; add sweetener and vanilla. Mix cream mixture into gelatin/milk mixture and add frozen berries. 
Pour immediately unto serving bowl and chill for several hours until set.
Serve and enjoy!