Southern Black Eyed Peas

Believe it or not, I was a very picky eater as a child. Me of all people! The girl who eats anything and everything now. I’ve heard rumors that your taste buds change every seven years… or something like that. I have no idea if that’s true or not, all I know is that as I got older I started trying more things and I realized they were actually pretty tasty.

Every New Year’s Eve my Mom made us these flavorful black eyed peas with bacon in them. It’s an old southern tradition that’s supposed to bring good luck. Now, we didn’t actually believe in it or anything, but it was just what we ate each December 31st for fun.

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I, being the picky eater smart aleck I was, would always ask my Mom ‘How many peas do I have to eat to get good luck again?’ as I strategically scooped one measly pea onto my plate.

Kieklak Christmas 2013

Steve & I headed to Fayetteville last Saturday to hang out with my family for a few days before heading to Oklahoma City to spend some time with his family. It wasn’t a good car ride, since it was raining every second of the way, but we got to Fayetteville in time for dinner Saturday night.

We had a lot of fun hanging out with my three older siblings, their spouses, and our five nephews (all under the age of three). Needless to say, there was never a dull moment!

My sister and I decorated some cookies with the two oldest little boys.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, readers! Cara & I have both been blessed in many ways this past year, and your readership has definitely been a part of that. I don’t want to keep you from your families and celebrations, so I’ll just encourage you to read & meditate on this passage from Isaiah 9, foretelling the coming of Christ.

May your Christmas day – and every day – be blessed with the knowledge that Christ has come and will come again!

The Kieklaks – Two Years & Counting

Last Tuesday, Steve and I celebrated our second anniversary. I honestly can’t believe that it’s already been that long. I feel like it was just yesterday that we recited our vows, pushed Steve’s picture-taking patience to the very limits, ate some delicious cake, and started our life together.

From the very beginning of our friendship, God has used Steve to point me to Him in so many ways (you can read about all that here, here, and here). I’m so grateful for the chance that God gives me every day to experience His grace, forgiveness, and love through Steve.

Melted Snowman Christmas Ornament

My office decided to do an ornament exchange for our Christmas party this year. Nothing fancy, just a fun little game of Dirty Santa. The ornaments were to be no more than $5, either homemade or store-bought. I decided to make this cute little melted snowman ornament that I saw on Pinterest. Here’s the link to the original post.

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This is a very self-explanatory post, but I’ll go ahead and explain anyway! You’ll need a glass ornament, black peppercorn, salt, glue, and a small piece of orange paper.

Nutter Butter Santas

As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved to make art. Painting, drawing, mixed media….I love it all. My mom was always good at recognizing mine and my brother’s unique talents/hobbies and encouraging us in them.

When I was in junior high, my mom clipped out a photo from a magazine of these santa nutter butter cookies and asked if I could make them. Art in the kitchen? That was new to me, but I was up for the challenge! Only having the photo and no instructions, I basically just mimicked the picture with similar ingredients we already had in the pantry.

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Now I had my own recipe! I’ve made this as a cute little Christmas treat to share with friends and family most years since.

Candy Cane Cookies

This is a recipe that I’ve grown up with. Every Christmas, my mother and sister and I would bake these cookies (along with sugar cookies, candies, and lots of other tasty treats).

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Though I can’t eat them anymore (I’m sure I’ll make a good gluten free version of them sometime soon), I made them this year with Steve. We had a lot of fun baking together and he’s been enjoying eating them. Here’s the recipe: