Sunday 11 December 2011

Marie's Sunday Six

I haven't done a Sunday Smiles in a couple of weeks and I've surely been having lots to smile about so I thought it was about time I did one! Having a cold doesn't make me smile, nor does this darned coughing make me smile, but I have plenty that does and it's best to dwell on the good in our lives is it not?

This is my brother David. He is just filled to overflowing with the Christmas Spirit this year! Actually he will probably kill me for showing you this, but then again, he is using it as his profile picture on facebook, so fair game! Actually my brother is probably one of those angels on earth you hear about at Christmas time. For as long as I remember he's been the Co-ordinators for the Shoe-box appeal for Samaritan's Purse in his area and every Christmas for years and years, he, his wife and his 4 girls have given up their whole Christmas to go and organize and put together an International Christmas in their area for foreign students who are not able to get home for Christmas. They organize activities for them, and cook meals for them etc., out at a camp near their home. They do it every year without fail. That is the true spirit of Christmas . . . the spirit of Christ, of love and of giving. Knowing that I have a brother who is an angel on earth makes me smile. (He's also got a pretty good sense of humor!)

This is my grandson's Jon (in red) and Josh (in plaid). They are busy baking and decorating Christmas Cookies! It looks like they are having a really good time!

Baking and decorating Christmas Cookies with the kiddos is a lot of fun. It also takes lots of patience and a blind eye! You have to remember not to notice all the flour that is on the floor and in their hair.

Likewise, the bits of coloured icing that gets wiped on their clothes, along with the sprinkles and candies . . .

Christmas is for children after all . . . Seeing my two grandsons having such a great time decorating these cookies makes me smile. It warms my heart to see them having such a nice time . . . and knowing that I have a son and daughter in law that are building lovely Christmas Traditions with their boys, just as I did for my son. Their father Doug was the Gingerbread Cookie King!

Little Jacob didn't get to bake cookies. He had to wait in a cage until they were done. He had a bottle and lots of bears to keep him company. It was probably the smartest thing to do!

This is our Gabriel on his first day of school this year. I know, my son was very late sending me some photos, but you know what they say . . . better late than never! Gabriel is my oldest grandson and the oldest son of my oldest son. Not sure what that means, but I am sure it's really special! I know HE'S really special at any rate and he always makes me smile. He looks very happy here for his first day and well prepared with his bookbag and new watch! (I'm going to have to rethink his birthday present this year I can see! uh oh!) He is the grandson that christened Todd as Gran-Todd! He just adores Todd and the feeling is quite mutual! Gabriel always makes me smile!

This is his little brother Luke, taken on the same day. It was Luke's first day in pre-school. He looks a little bit unsure of himself, but oh so sweet I think! It was a big day for both of them! And for mama too . . .

I just adore my DIL Anne. She is the daughter of my heart. I could not love her any more if I had given birth to her myself. It makes me smile to know that my son has a wife like her and that my grandsons have a mother like her. Anne makes me smile! (She's a pretty good Pirate too!)

Well Shiver-me-timbers you Swashbucklers! If this does not make you smile, you will just have to walk the plank!!

Little Maryn's first visit to Santa Claus surely made me smile as well. She looks like she's telling him everything on her list and making sure that he has all the details just right! Whatever it is she is telling him . . . it looks pretty important at any rate!! I think I have the most beautiful grand-daughter in the world . . . I know that there are millions out there that have beautiful grand-daughters of their own . . . that are very special too . . . but for me and mine, Maryn is the best! Of course she is the only grand-daughter, and great-grand-daughter in the family. That makes her very special indeed. I do love her so very much.

I know that this has been a very family oriented Sunday Smiles . . . two weeks before Christmas . . . but that's what Christmas is all about is it not? About the love of family . . . and friends (for afterall are not friends the family you get to pick for yourself???) It's about joy and peace . . . the love of Christ in action . . . the spirit of good will . . . the Birth of the Saviour.

I hope that you have a lovely sabbath day today and that you are able to find some joy in this day in measures both large and small . . . a smile, or two or three . . . and that you'll feel your Saviour's love in abundance.

Listen to this. It will make you smile.

These muffins will probably make you smile too. They are like jam filled doughnuts . . . with jammy centres and a buttery coating of cinnamon sugar! Oh so scrumdiddlyumptiously good!

*Jam Surprise Muffins*LinkMakes 8
Printable Recipe

These muffins are truly lovely. A deliciously moist cake surrounds a hidden surprise of fruit jam in the middle and the whole thing is dipped in melted butter and cinnamon sugar coated while still warm. These yummy babies are so good and delicious you will find yourself wondering however did you ever get through life thus far without them!

½ cup caster sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
½ cup fruit jam ( I like strawberry or raspberry myself)
½ cup melted butter
½ cup caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 200*C/400*F. Grease a muffin tin that makes larger sized muffins well and set aside. (as you will only be getting 8 muffins from this I suggest you fill the empty holes with water before baking so that you do not burn your pan)

Place the butter into a bowl and cream it with the sugar really well until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the pinch of salt. Add this mixture to the creamed mixture alternatively with the milk. Beginning and ending with the dry mixture.

Spoon half of the batter into the muffins cups. Top each with a teaspoon of fruit jam in the centre, making sure it does not touch the sides. Divide the remaining batter between each of them and top them with it to cover the jam. Don’t worry it if just lays there on top as it will spread when it hit’s the heat of the oven.

Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until well risen and lightly browned, and they spring back when touched very lightly with your fingertips. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the baking tin to cool on a wire rack, to where you can just handle them with your fingers without being burnt.

Put the melted butter into a bowl. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in another bowl. Roll each muffin first in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar. Place them on a wire rack until the coating sets somewhat. Serve warm with your favourite hot bevvie!

Over in The English Kitchen today there are some Angel Cookies, that look a little more like aliens, but what the heck. They taste delicious!

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