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    RISINGBLUESTAR   13,045
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Christmas & stuff

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

We are getting a REAL Christmas tree this year & I am very excited about it because when we lived in the last house, there wasn't room for a tree. I am so excited to have a real tree. We are going to go pick it out when my sister gets home.

Baking Christmas cookies + Listening to Christmas music + and watching Christmas movies are a few of my favorite aspect of the season. My #1 favorite thing is celebrating Jesus. I read this quote the other day: "Christmas is not a date, it's a state of mind." I agree!

I baked with my friend on Saturday and it was so much fun. We used molds and made little chocolate gift boxes. You can get chocolate melts and you pour them into a bowl and then melt them in the microwave. Then you pour the chocolate into the molds and when you are done, you chill it and then it's done. We worked with red chocolate and
white chocolate and the standard brown. We worked with other molds too.
We also made some chocolate the same way except we crushed candy canes and placed it into the chocolate and then chilled it. I believe she called that peppermint bark but that is not true peppermint bark. We also baked sugar cookies. We made them way too big because my friend kept sticking cookies on the sheet pan even when I said there wasn't room so the cookies baked into each other but that's okay. I took some home from my family and it was a hit. For me, the chocolate was too rich so I didn't eat too much of it which is a good thing. I only bake once in a great while so I wasn't too worried about being overly health conscious.

In other good news, my sister is graduating on Saturday. She is receiving her BA in Psychology. It took me one year to convince her to go to school so I am just as excited as she is that she will be finished. :) She is happy to be done because a group that she has been working with is getting on her last nerve. She tries to communicate with them but it's useless. She worked really hard on her part of the presentation all weekend and then today she heard the girls conspiring to give her an "F" because everyone in the group had to grade each other. My sister is now worried about her grade in the class. It amazes me that people like that are in college but what amazes me more is that they are PSYCHOLOGY majors. It is just scary that people who are in a field geared toward helping people behave that way! I just tell my sister not to worry about people like that but it's easier to say than it is for someone not to care. I hope picking out a Christmas tree lifts her spirits. I know decorating it has to help for sure! :)

Hope everyone's week is going well. Work hard reaching your goals but remember it's okay to have a treat once and a while so don't be afraid to try making the chocolate molds. ;)

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JINLYNN 12/7/2012 9:11PM

    Sounds like you had fun with your friend - a great way to enjoy the festive season. And picking out a tree with your sister will be fun too, and hopefully lift her spirits!
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BETHYSMAMA 12/5/2012 10:20AM

    I love celebrating. I too am a baking fiend this time of year. Try a baking stone for cookies since I started using one no burning and really very little spreading on the cutouts. I have a 6 year old we do lots of cut outs.

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242WILLNOTDO 12/5/2012 9:03AM

    I make several treats for my dad using the melting chocolates...very easy! His favorite? Dip Oreo cookies or Nutter Butters into the melted chocolate and then sprinkle on some chopped pecans before they cool. EASY-PEASY!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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REFFIE1 12/4/2012 10:11PM

    If indeed those students sabotage her grade she should report it to the prof. because it is not fair. Glad you are enjoying Christmas. Your chocolates sound like they will make lovely gifts. emoticon

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JERZGURL_NAN 12/4/2012 8:53PM

    oh wow - we just got 2 live trees today for the first time in about 15 years. I put the lights on one already and it was so awesome working with real branches, they were so soft and flexible - Enjoy yours - it's a special treat!



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1STATEOFDENIAL 12/4/2012 8:33PM

    Perhaps your sister should confront the problem head on. It's possible they are just messing with her. It's also possible that she can use the information she's obtained through her schooling to confront them, have an honest talk, and find out what is really going on. Often people jump to conclusions to find it is wrong, or they hear talk about something bad and hold in the pain to withdraw, which makes the others that more more willing to make the bad come true. By confronting the problem she can find out exactly what's going on and then deal with it. Then she can take that information and/or the feelings she got during the conversation and take it to her professor to speak to him/her candidly about what's happening. This will show that she learned from her classes how to handle difficult people - then even if the others try to ruin her grade, her professor knows what's happening and that she was being the adult in the situation. In reality, most of college is a preparation for dealing with the jerks and bad people that are out in the real world, and knowing how to spot and befriend the good people. That means learning how to handle the jerks in the most positive and productive ways. In a way, how she handles the problem may end up being a better final exam than any written test or project she completes.

Good to hear that you enjoyed making those baked goods and will enjoy them in moderation. Everyone deserves a few treats, as long as it is done responsibly and mindfully. Also, what kind of chocolate did you use for the peppermint bark? Hint: white chocolate works better with peppermint than milk chocolate. Between high school and college I worked a summer in a fudge shop making all kinds of goodies, including barks. We made peppermint bark and the white chocolate brought out the flavor while the milk chocolate masked it. Also, if you like barks, try all kinds of mix-in ingredients. We used mini M&Ms, nuts, and all kinds of things (it was over 13 years ago so I don't remember all of them). When you make them, spread the chocolate out until just as it starts to thicken but before it hardens then add the mix in, so you don't melt it. Also, the higher you heat the chocolate, the higher the melting point, so heating it an extra few degrees (slowly so it doesn't burn) will allow it to sit in your mouth a little longer before the chocolate melts.

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CINDYAST 12/4/2012 8:26PM

    Sounds like a fun day! And picking out a tree will lift anyone's spirit. We're going to go into the mountains this weekend and cut our tree. Some years we're able to go on snowshoes, but no snow yet this year. We'll still have fun though! Enjoy your time with your sister picking out a tree and decorating!
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AQUAGIRL08 12/4/2012 8:19PM

    I love Christmas too. I call it being in the "Christmas state of mind". I'm so sorry that your sister is having such a hard time. She may want to have a private word with her professor and tell her what she overheard. I hope she can find a way around the unprofessional actions of the other members of her group.

I made the chocolate candy that you talk about in your blog. We did it for my wedding (in my colors of course) in 1993. Making them is so easy and the results are really pretty. Have a great week!

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