Monday, December 31, 2012

San Francisco

For you, a small taste of San Francisco...

It is surely one of the most beautiful cities in California...

Brisk and hilly, 

diverse yet Victorian,

I know why many hearts are left here.


Friday, December 28, 2012

My New Year Wish

"With the new day
comes new strength
and new thoughts."
~Eleanor Roosevelt
We thank you
for your friendship
this year,
and we wish you
peace and prosperity
in the new year.
~Sheri, Jess, and Nel

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Sweet Christmas Story

We just got home from a joyous Christmas Eve mass.

The homily was filled with love, and the music was spiritually uplifting.

At the end of the service they passed out candy canes with a card attached that explained the history of this Christmas-time favorite. We thought we'd share this special story with you. 

A Candy Maker's Witness

A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas candy cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church and firmness of the promises of God. The candy maker made the candy in the form of a 'J' to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to Earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the 'Good Shepherd' with which He reaches down into the world. Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to represent the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ. In years to come the candy became known only as a candy cane--a meaningless decoration. But the meaning is still there for those who know. We pray that this symbol will again be used to witness the wonder of Jesus and His great love that came down at Christmas.       

From our family to yours, may peace be with you now and always.

Merry Christmas!

~ Sheri, Nel & Jess ~

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Staging Christmas Magic

The Nutcracker Ballet is one of our favorite holiday traditions.

Just last weekend Jess and I went to see a showing of this Christmas classic at the local community college theater.

We had great seats for a stunning performance. 

From the moment the heavy velvet curtains were drawn back, we were dazzled by the graceful movements of the dancers, and our hearts were warmed by the sweet children who took part in the show. 

Ballet is a truly magical art, don't you think?

During intermission they had a cozy display of baked goods, fizzy punch, and dozens of brightly painted Nutcrackers for sale.

Jess and I treated ourselves to a couple of red velvet cupcakes and cocoa cookies.

We had a wonderful night at the theater. Have you seen the Nutcracker this Christmas season?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Chalk Art

I've shared some of Nel's Christmas chalk art...

and some of my holiday images...

for your midweek viewing pleasure.

It's almost Christmas!


Are you ready?



Monday, December 17, 2012


Our thoughts and prayers are with the children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

May God bless all of their families and loved ones. 
~Sheri, Jess, and Nel~

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Freshly Baked

I absolutely L♥VE to bake during the Christmas season.

Nothing spreads holiday cheer like the smell of sweet treats fresh out of the oven.

Every Christmas Eve we bake our family favorites for Santa--sugar cookies, Rice Crispy treats, Russian tea cookies, and fudge--but this year I wanted to branch out and make a few new goodies I discovered on Pinterest.

These Eggnog Cookies provide the perfect blend of sweetness and spice.

Santa Hat Brownies are so fun and festive! Just make a batch of your favorite brownies...

Whip up a little butter-cream using mascarpone cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar...  

Top with strawberries, and you have an adorable holiday treat!

The rich flavors of chocolate, caramel, and pecans are to be savored in every delicious bite of these Turtle Cookies.

Whether you're baking a time-honored favorite or a newly discovered goodie, the girls at Red Rose Alley are wishing you a sweet holiday season!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Merry and Bright

We finished decorating our trees, and wanted to give you a peek at a few of our favorite ornaments and our lit up trees.

Nel's tree and ornaments
Aunt Mona gave me these "just married" snowmen as a gift for our first Christmas together.
Jess and I made sheet music ornaments on our craft night.
As a literature professor, I treasure books.
Only two more months until our honeymoon in Paris!
Can you see the hummingbird hidden in this picture?  This pretty ornament reminds me of my mom, who loves hummingbirds.
Jess' tree and ornaments
I think this cross ornament is so pretty and special.  My mom gave it to me last year, and it's my favorite.   
What the world needs more of....peace on earth.
Sheri's tree and ornaments
I saw many silver ornaments this year that I liked.  I loved all the snow on this one.
The pearls on this gives it a vintage look.
Anything with jewels, and I'm there.
Every year, I tell my kids, "this is the prettiest tree we've ever had." haha
Decorate your tree with love.
~Sheri, Nel, and Jess~