December 5, 2007

My favorite holiday

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 10:41 pm by Jenn


Seveal weeks ago I reconnected with an old high school classmate (Ruth).  Ruth invited me to join her in a blogging journal group called Thirty Voices .  I was thrilled at the thought of actually having a weekly commitment so I inquired about joining the group and was accepted.

Each week there is a Posting Challenge which we can either accept or chose to write about when inspired to do so.  Since I’m new to the group I am kind of in catch up mode.  Today I accepted the Posting Challenge question #11

This is what I wrote…

My favorite holiday?  Without a doubt Christmas!  I love the sparkle, the colors, the smells.  I love the television shows, the movies, the music.  I love the symbolism, the meaning and the stories, but the thing I love most about Christmas is the Christmas tree.

We have had an artificial tree for the past few years but I especially love going to the Christmas tree farm in the cold with a cup of hot chocolate, walking around and picking out my own tree.  Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes.  The right tree will speak to you.  I always know “the one” when I see it.


Perhaps I love Christmas trees because I also love Christmas ornaments.  When I was a child it was a tradition to receive an ornament every year.  By the time I moved away from home, I had enough ornaments to decorate my very first tree.  Decorating the tree for some is a burden, but for me it is a time of reflection, and remembrance.  I love taking the ornaments out of their bubble wrap protection and just looking at them.  Each ornament holds a precious memory of a friend or family member.  It takes time to walk around the tree and select just the right place for the ornament.  I want them to hang just right, have just the right amount of light and greenery around them.  With an artificial tree it makes it easy because the branches move, a real tree is a bit more of a challenge.  Sometimes the right ornament for a space needs to be purchased or crafted.


Of all my ornaments, my favorite is a little yellow rubber reindeer who has lost his hanging device, the paint from his nose and one eye.  Despite all of these imperfections, this little guys still manages to find his way to my tree every year.  My sister and I used to move him around on the tree to see if the other person could find him.  My tree just wouldn’t be the same without this little guy.  This year his is straddling a branch with his nose very close to a red light to mimic a “red nose”. 


I decorated my tree yesterday, I thought about my Grammy, my parents, my sister, my nephew, my Aunt, Meesie and Fooie, Jeanne, Tracy, Alan Neville, Maureen Gill and many other special people.  Memories included my first Christmas with my husband,  our first Christmas as a married couple, Hooch opening Christmas presents, Sheba and Haley sitting in the Christmas tree, and spending last Christmas with my family while my husband was in Iraq.  Next year I’m sure that when I decorate my tree I will think back to this Christmas, this post and remember that I’m living in Belarus, learning Russian and missing my family and friends.


Enjoy this picture of Rudy!



My favorite holiday

Posted in Jenn, Belarus at 8:26 pm by Jenn

My favorite holiday? Without a doubt Christmas! I love the sparkle, the colors, the smells. I love the television shows, the movies, the music. I love the symbolism, the meaning and the stories, but the thing I love most about Christmas is the Christmas tree.

We have had an artificial tree for the past few years but I especially love going to the Christmas tree farm in the cold with a cup of hot chocolate, walking around and picking out my own tree. Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes. The right tree will speak to you. I always know “the one” when I see it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blog cleaning

Posted in Journal, Max's World at 2:17 pm by Jenn

I’m reorganizing the blog today so some things have changed and in the process I’ve had to move a few things around to preserve some posts. 

This was originally posted on November 13th by me Max has since had his second haircut, by the same lady and he loved it just as much.  The down side of haircuts here is that he doesn’t get a fancy bandana to wear post cut.

Here is the original post.

This is Max’s first haircut in Belarus.  A very nice lady came to our aparment, gave Max a wonderful haircut and charged only $15 USD.  This woman raises Gordon Setters and said that Max definitely has Gordon Setter in addition to the Spaniel.  She thought he was very handsome and he loved her.  He even took a little nap while she trimmed his feet.

Max loves the snow.  He had never expereinced snow before moving to Belarus.  He loves to run and slide and just romp around.  Good thing he likes it because it is here until April.  The people look at him like he is a maniac…which he is. He has his coat (sometimes boots) and is barking and running and jumping, just having a great time in the snow.

Pork Chops and Applesauce from November 13, 2007

Posted in Journal, What's for Dinner tagged , , at 2:10 pm by Jenn

Orginally posted on this site by me on
November 13, 2007 at 4:39 pm 

Well as usual I’m home trying to figure out what to do and I get a craving for none other than Pork Chops and Applesauce. Well you guessed it there is no applesauce in Belarus, but there is plenty of pork. So here’s what we are having:

Curried Apple Pork Chop Bake

4 (1 inch thick) boneless pork chops (I used two – Me, Scott, no leftovers)
vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, food choppered
3 large apple, cored, peeled and food choppered
2 cups Russian mixed fruit juice w/kiwi, pineapple, banana, grape and apple (you can use apple juice)
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoons ground curry powder, or to taste
**salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or (200 degrees C).

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Brown in skillet over medium-high heat, in a small amount of oil, flip to brown both sides. Arrange chops in a 9×13 inch baking dish. (I’m using my Pampered Chef 12″ skillet….LOVE IT! It’s oven proof so why dirty another dish…..especially now that I am officially the “dishwasher”.

In the same skillet, melt margarine over medium heat. Cook and stir onions and apples in margarine until caramelized. Stir in apple juice, chicken bouillon, garlic, and curry powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over chops, and cover dish with foil.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until pork chops are cooked through.

Enjoy with baked sweet potato, broccoli, beer bread and a glass of your favorite wine.

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