Sunday, 21 December 2008

Marie's Sunday Six Smile Makers

Here it is Sunday again. The weeks just seem to fly by! Time again for my Sunday Six Smile Makers. (Thanks Lura!!) Just saying that makes me smile. It's a wonderful thing to be able to go back over your week just gone, and think about small blessings and special things that have brought a smile to your face over the past few days. There's ever so many more than just six, but these are special ones that stand out in my heart.

1. Earlier this week we delivered a little letter from Santa through the post box next door for the little boy that lives there. I've told you about our Zac before. He's a real little treasure to us. I'm sure that his parents would agree, although probably not all the time! (The nice thing about borrowing children is you get to hand them back when they get annoying!!!) This week, I made up a little letter to him from Santa. We filled it full of Christmas confetti and attached 2 candy canes to the outside and slid it through their letter box and then waited. He was some surprised when he got home later in the day and found it. When he came over later on to tell us, I could hardly contain my own excitement over the excitement he expressed to us! Of course I had to tell him about the streak of red that we had seen through the hedge earlier in the day and the bells I heard tinkle as it passed . . . there won't be too many more years we will be able to get away with this, he's 8 now!

2. Christmas Post. Christmas Post makes me smile. Each day this week lovely cards and greetings poured in through our own letter box, each one a gift of love from a faraway friend. We have them strung up by string around our kitchen and every time I look at them I smile. It's so wonderful to be loved like this, and to hear from much loved friends. Christmas love is one of my favourite kinds of love!

3. Unexpected kindnesses. Not only have cards been pouring through the door but other little surprises as well. One day this past week I received a lovely little note from a friend, thanking me for the card I had sent to her. It brought tears to my eyes to think that my Christmas Card to her had meant as much as it had. I'm so glad she let me know. Then another day, I went in to work and the Daughter of my boss had left a little gift for me on the countertop in the kitchen as a thank you, two lovely cookbooks. They are just wonderful, (Leith's Bakery Bible and Nigella's Christmas) and amazingly enough, I didn't already have them, but what meant the most was knowing that my efforts were appreciated in a special way. Yesterday the postman dropped a small package off, and tucked inside were two lovely mementos from a friend in America . . . a lovely little beaded spider decoration for my tree and a wonderfully fragrant lavender tussie for my dresser drawer. Thanks so much Ginger! I could go on and on, but unexpected kindnesses followed me around all week, not all of them tangible things I could touch with my hands . . . but all of them things that touched my heart . . . comments left, words said . . . they are all special to me, and very much treasured.

4. It is not often that you have a shopping experience these days when you come away feeling like somebody out there in the retail world actually cares! Earlier this week, we had occasion to shop in Curry's for something, and the young man that waited on us was wonderful!! He was attentive, polite and very helpful and made our shopping experience into a pleasant experience instead of a nightmare, which is more often than not the case. As soon as we arrived back home again, I made a point of telephoning their head office and letting them know what a gem they have in this young man. We are all too often eager to complain about something when it disappoints or goes wrong. I think it's nice to give credit where credit is due and recognize when something good happens as well!

5. I got a little Sprintime Easter Painting done. I know . . . it's Christmas and Easter is probably the furthest thing from our minds, but I like to be on top of things. I really loved painting this.

I'd done the sketch several weeks ago and I could hardly wait to bring it to life. The colours are cheery and bright and it looks so springlike! What do you think? (Of course it is available as a print or a card, just say the word!)

6. The works Christmas Party earlier this week, the Seminary Breakfast Supper we held on Thursday for our students, the delivering of our Gingerbread Houses with the Youth on Thursday evening, my visit to the Christmas Farm Market in the next village on Friday morning, our Scripture Study Group get-together last evening at our good friend Hazel's . . . all things this week that did my heart good, and brought a smile to my face. This is such a busy time of year for each of us I know . . . but it is good to stop for a few moments and reflect on some of these little pleasures experienced. I have placed them in my heart and in the dark, bleak and cold days of January and February I will take them out and visit them once more and I just know they will bring a smile to my face and a song to my heart again!

We knew we would not be home for supper last night so I cooked Todd his dinner early in the day yesterday. He'd had a very busy morning of putting together six bookcases that we had purchases earlier this week for the library and you know how that goes. Self assembly is never easy, no matter how simple you think it's going to be!!! I grilled a couple of steaks that I had in the freezer, a bonus from an earlier shop where I found some steaks marked down half price, banged a few chips into the oven and cooked some green beans. With this lovely Bearnaise butter gilding it's top, it was a real treat!

*Grilled Steaks with Bearnaise Butter*
Serves 4

This butter is so easy and so quick to make, and adds a wonderful flavour and touch to a simple grilled steak.

3 TBS butter, softened
2 tsp finely chopped tarragon leaves
You can use 1 tsp dried if you wish)
2 tsp minced shallots
1/2 tsp of fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
a healthy pinch of salt
4 steaks of your choice
a knob of butter, cracked black pepper and sea salt for grilling

Place the butter, tarragon, shallots, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt together in a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.

Season the steaks with some salt and black pepper. Melt the knob of butter in a heated skillet until it begins to foam. Add your steaks and grill on each side until nicely browned and as done as you wish them to be. Remove to heated plates and top each with a dollop of the herb butter. Serve immediately.


  1. I stumbled across your blog earlier this Fall. I love all this British, but then realized you are orignially from N.S. Well, from one 'bluenoser' to another - have a wonderful Christmas and keep cooking and blogging. I don't go to bed until I've read your daily post.

  2. I just found your blog thanks to Full Bellies. I love it and enjoyed your CHRISTmas music for a good while, thank you. God bless and happy holiday.

  3. You are one of a kind! I always feel good after leaving your blog :)

  4. Marie I love your six, how Lura, I hope some day maybe make.
    I send you a Christmas card but in the mail said dont arrive before two weeks!!! so I sent you and E-card to you and Todd the other I think will be arrive later, I hope!!

    I love Christmas love too,is so hard sometimes (we go to help Mom yesterday to cover cookies (she sell) but was nice help her. (Think she have 78!!!) dadonly eat them!! dont help!!

    Wewll dear we have to countinue working but how always is a pleasure be here for a while, huggsss and kisses!!! Gloria

  5. Your recipe look so tasty!!! I dont have idea what I will make to Christmas Eve!!! The dessert is more easy!!! xxGloria

  6. Hello dear,
    I actually took the time to log onto your blog on my old computer today. It took too long but I just had to see your Sunday Six. It was worth the time but now I am late getting ready for church. We are going to drive out to Mindy's ward which starts later than our ward....but then we have to drive 30 min to get I must hurry. Mindy is playing the flute today and I think Claire is singing. I look forward to seeing them but I hate to miss our YW who are also singing today in our ward. I hope that they understand that family has to come first...but then...these sweet YW seem like they are a part of my I hate to miss their song.

    Have a lovely Christmas week. I got your darling card and love my Marie Christmas girl.

    Merry Christmas. Love, Lura

  7. how sweet that you made that little letter for that boy! i love the excitement children have in their little eyes at christmas time!

  8. G'day Marie, how lovely to read of your cards and gifts, and I'm sure that little boy is enjoying a majic Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with love and happyness.

  9. I like your six! I've been so behind on blog reading it's crazy. Zac sounds like a lucky boy!

  10. Marie --

    Your Easter picture is just darling -- so cute! Your steak looks delicious too. Your neighbor boy sounds so sweet. How fun for you to be Santa's helper! Have a great day!


  11. what a week you have had!!!!
    sounds wonderful. and oh my, I have been wanting a steak so badly and look at yours!!!!
    take care

  12. I love that you sent a card to Zac... My dear friend lives a few doors down and she has adorable children. I would love to send a letter from Santa! You are so cleaver!

  13. Hello from California!

    I LOVE your SmileMaker idea about writing a Santa letter for a neighbor. (I hope this menopausal brain remembers to try it out before Christmas Day :-)

    Thank you for the great idea!

    Merry Christmas and all other Happy Holidays!

    take care,
    Louise Lewis, author
    No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You!

    FREE gift e-book a:
    (No spam...Simply my way of 'giving back'...)


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