Monday, December 22, 2008

Going on vacation....

I'm working on getting the last minute preparations done before my husband and I fly out to San Francisco tonight.  We're really excited to spend some time with family over the holidays.  I may not be able to blog while we're away, so I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.  Hope your Christmas is filled with blessings and reflections on what Jesus Christ has done for us.  Until 2009....

Christmas Brunch Recipes

For the past few years, my family has had the tradition to have a Christmas Day Brunch.  My husband and I are leaving later on today to fly to San Francisco to spend the holidays with my side of the family.  My sister said to bring my brunch recipes again this year.  She and my mom also put something together, but I'll just include the two recipes that I usually make.

Egg Sausage Bake  

Use an 8x8 pan.  Serves 6.

6 slices of bread
1/2-3/4 lb. sausage
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs
1 1/4-2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

Cook and drain sausage.  If not ground, chop it up.  While sausage is cooking, cube bread and place in greased pan.  Beat eggs, stir in milk and mustard, and set aside.  Sprinkle cooked sausage over bread.  Sprinkle cheese over sausage.  Pour egg mixture over cheese.  Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.  Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Cinnamon Apple Brunch Bake

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 can apple pie filling (21 oz.)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (12 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In saucepan, melt butter, stir in brown sugar, pie filling, cinnamon and vanilla.  Spread half of apple mixture in 2-quart shallow baking dish.  Separate biscuits; cut each into quarters.  Arrange pieces, points up, over apple mixture.  Spoon remaining apple mixture over biscuits; sprinkle with nuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Scrapbook of Memories

I received a fun ready-made scrapbook called, Christmas Scrapbook of Memories.  It is published by Integrity Publishers (Tommy Nelson, Inc.).  You can go here if you'd like to purchase it. Unfortunately, they don't have a picture of it at this time.

What I love about this book is that the layouts are already done for you.  There are places for you to write down certain memories and put your favorite pictures.  There's even a spot to put your own Christmas letter!  I like having the pages at the end that have pockets to put extra pictures and your favorite Christmas cards in.  The book has five sections--one section for each year of Christmas memories.  This will be our third Christmas together as a married couple, so it's filling up fast.  Every year I pull it out to look at the previous years' comments and pictures.  It is so much fun and refreshing to reflect on good times.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some flowers and some cookies

My jr. high and sr. high choirs did a fabulous job at Thursday night's concert.  I was so pleased with the way everything turned out.  The band also played a few numbers.  The title of our concert was, "The Best Loved Songs of Christmas."  I had narrators talk about the background of each song that was sung.  At the end, I had both choirs sing together, "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas."  I had a lot of fun, but boy, was I tired when it was all finished!

At the end of the concert, the students presented the band teacher and I with a gift.  He got a new coffee mug that he desperately needed, and I received a bouquet of roses and a gift card to the Olive Garden (yum!).

I like to bake a little something for the students in my choir after a concert, so on Friday I brought Candy Cane Twists.  What I love about this recipe is that part of the cookie has real peppermint bits in it.  They are soooo good!  Here's the recipe:

Candy Cane Twists

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup finely crushed candy canes or peppermint candy
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

Beat powdered sugar, butter, egg, peppermint extract, and vanilla together at medium speed until creamy.  Reduce speed and add flour and salt.  Divide dough in half.  Stir candy into one half of the dough and beat food coloring into the other half.  For each cookie, roll 1 teaspoon of each dough into a 4-inch long rope.  Place ropes beside each other and twist them together. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and curve one end of cookie to make the shape of a candy cane.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

I had some left over crushed peppermint, so I used them to make another batch of snowball cookies. (You can find that recipe on my blog, too.) Instead of putting pecans or other nuts in, I mixed in the peppermint.  They tasted really good!  I really loved the look and taste of these candy cane twists.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.:)

A Very Special Christmas Caroling

Last night, we had our annual Christmas caroling with the teens in our church.  We had a great group come along for this wonderful time.

We went to five different houses in our town--all the individuals were older people in our church, some of them widows.  At each stop, we sang several Christmas carols, including a couple of their favorites.  We also gave them a poinsettia as a special gift.

The teens did a wonderful job of singing and encouraging these people.  Hugs were given and kind words were shared.  One lady we visited said, "It's so beautiful--I think I'm going to cry."  And just a couple minutes later, tears were coming down her cheeks.  She was deeply moved.  In our eyes, it wasn't a huge thing to go around singing Christmas carols, but for these older men and women, it was such a special thing that they look forward to and remember for a long time.  It was a reminder to me that we can touch people's lives in so many ways, no matter how big or small.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Handel's Messiah

I love Handel's Messiah.  I've only heard bits and parts of it on a recording this year, so I have yet to listen to it in its entirety.  Last night I read a chapter on it in the book, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins.  The story behind the writing of the Messiah is phenomenal.  

Did you know that Handel was almost completely blind when he wrote it, and was also suffering from other physical ailments?

Did you know that it only took him three weeks to write the entire Messiah?

Did you know that Handel flunked out of college?

And....did you know that although the message of the Messiah is appropriate for both Easter and Christmas, choirs began singing it during the Easter season?  It was decided to move the performances of it to the Christmas season for marketing purposes.  The holiday season is longer than that of Easter, which lasts only three days.

I've been working on one of the songs from the Messiah called, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion."  I'll be singing it this coming Sunday morning in our church service.  I'm really excited to sing it, but hope that the message comes out clearly.  I want others to get a hold of Christ's coming to earth and the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

I love how music historian, Robert Manson Myers talked about the Messiah.  He said, "For the first time in musical history the mighty drama of human redemption was treated as an epic poem."  Another music historian, R. A. Streatfield, said that the Messiah was "the first instance in the history of music of an attempt to view the mighty drama of human redemption from an artistic viewpoint."  Pretty powerful stuff, eh?

If you don't already include the Messiah as part of your Christmas celebration, why not start this year?  Get a recording or see it performed at a concert hall.  Your spirits will be lifted as praise is given to our Lord.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stories behind the best-loved songs of Christmas

Tomorrow night my choirs will be singing several Christmas songs as part of the annual Christmas program at the school.  I'm really excited about the theme that we'll be doing.  I have narrators that will give the background of each of the songs.  They are all quite fascinating!  I got the idea to do this from Ace Collins' books.  He has written several books on Christmas, two of them focusing on the stories behind our traditional Christmas songs.

Some of his titles are the following:

Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas
More Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas
Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas
Stories Behind the Hymns That Inspire America
Turn Your Radio On:  The Stories Behind Gospel Music's All-Time Greatest Songs

His books can be found at for a great price!  In fact, I just checked the website and the top three books listed are available in a boxed set for only $3.99!  Awesome.:)

I think these books would be a great addition to anyone's library.  They are appropriate for the entire family.  You can learn so many valuable things about the songs and traditions of Christmas.  I've read only parts of these books and have heard Ace Collins on radio speaking on some of the things he writes in his books.  It is wonderful--hope you can get a hold of these and make them a part of your Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Whiter than Snow

It snowed again this past Sunday morning.  It was absolutely beautiful, but it was also bitter cold. It was the morning of our Christmas cantata, so we were hoping that many would still come out for it.  We had a great turn out and the program was a blessing.  Looking at the snow has made me think of different things, so I wanted to share those with you.  

The first thing I think of is the fact that Jesus washes away our sin "whiter than snow."  

Psalm 51:7 says, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:  wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

To me, it is so comforting to know that when we ask God to forgive us, he does.  (I John 1:9)  He keeps His promises and removes our sin.  The concept that I cannot completely fathom is, "what is whiter than snow?"  Snow is so clean, pure, and white that I can't think what is even cleaner and brighter than what we already see.  Amazing, isn't it?  

The other thing I think of when I see the snow is all the fun times I've had over the years outside in the snow.  Growing up in California, I did not experience real winters and all that goes with the snow.  When I was in elementary school, my parents took my sisters and I to Lake Tahoe to experience snow for the first time.  We went sledding, had snowball fights and saw huge icicles forming on the cabin we stayed in.  When I went away to school in Wisconsin, I actually lived through snowy winters for four years.  I made my first snow angel, learned how to ice skate, and had a blast with college friends playing in the snow.  After graduating from college, I moved to Colorado and have enjoyed 12 wintery seasons here.  I love how the snow cascades on the Rocky Mountains.  It makes me think about the One who has made all things beautiful for us to enjoy.

What kinds of things does the snow make you think of?  Is it the thought of the Lord removing our sin and fun memories of playing in the snow like I've shared?

Reflect on these thoughts and have some fun outside!  Make a snow "family", an igloo, snow angel...or just have a snow ball fight!  Just get out there with your loved ones and build great memories.  (And don't forget to have some hot chocolate ready to enjoy when you come back inside.) :)

A cute outfit for little girls

This last spring, I made a t-shirt/capri outfit for a little girl in our church.  I saw an idea in a t-shirt crafting book for an empire-waist tee and thought I would try it.  All you have to do is cut slits all around the shirt and weave fabric in and out, then tie it in the back.  The idea on the sleeves was mine and thought that it turned out well.  I used Simplicity pattern #3743 for the capri pants.  I loved how it all turned out and so did the girl who I made it for.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A birthday card for our nephew

One of our nephews just had a birthday, so I made him this card.  We put a collector's coin inside that we had bought at Mesa Verde National Park this past summer.  I used a star stamp as well as scrapbook paper to create this card.  The rest of it was hand-written.  This simple card might give you an idea on what to do for an upcoming birthday.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Simple Christmas story character costumes

I have been busy working on making Christmas gifts for family. (I'll show those pictures after the new year, so that they remain a surprise!)  In the midst of all of that, I was asked to make a few costumes for the upcoming Sunday School Christmas program.  I've never done anything like this before, but I was supplied with a sample, picture and measurements to go by.  This picture shows one of the outfits I made--an overcoat with an undercoat (tunic).  Instead of making separate sleeves, all I did was cut out two pieces and stitch them together.  In the back, a notch was made to make it easier for the child to slip his head through.  I hemmed the neckline, sleeves, and bottom of each tunic.

It's been a crazy week, but God's enabled me to make all that was needed for this Wednesday night's program.  In total, I stitched up 3 headpieces, 2 overcoats and 5 undercoats (tunics).  It was quite the experience, but I was glad I could do this despite my beginner sewer abilities.  I was able to see the costumes on the kids tonight at the rehearsal, but also can't wait to see the actual program itself.  It's neat to be a part of something that will touch the hearts and lives of all who attend that night.  

Snowflake Christmas card holder

A couple years ago, my husband and I received silver snowflake ornaments at a Christmas dinner.  They seemed too large for our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree, so I decided to use them to hold our Christmas cards.  All I did was attach blue ribbon and paper clips to the snowflakes.  I also used push-pins to hold them up.  As the cards come in, I just paper clip them to the holder and we have a simple and elegant decoration in our living room.  Currently, these hang right above an end table where the snowmen reside this holiday season.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The White Elephant and Eggnog

Last night we had a couple fun activities for the teens in our Wednesday night service.  Everyone had to bring a gift (no more than $5) for a gift exchange.  They could also bring something from home, a "white elephant" gift, that they no longer need anymore.  All the teens sat in a big circle as one of our leaders read a story.  Each person had a gift in their hands and as the words "right" and "left" were mentioned in the story, the gift had to move in that direction. When the story was completed, whatever gift they had was the gift they were stuck with.  Some were pretty happy with what they received; others, well, not so very happy with the little useless trinket.

At the end of the night, we had our annual "Eggnog Chug."  My husband chose a few guys to stand in a line and chug down a whole quart of full-fat egg nog.  It was a race to see who would be the Eggnog King!  An adult, who was the mystery chugger, also competed, and actually beat out the guys.  I personally love eggnog, but more of the light variety.  Watching those guys go at it just made some of us churn inside!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paper plate ice skates

I just got back from a ladies Bible study and had to share this quick and fun idea for kids. While the ladies meet in groups, the children also have a class they can go to.  A friend from church picks me up each Wednesday and brings her two small kids to it.  The kids learn the same lesson that we do, but also get to do some hands-on things as well.

When we picked up her four-year-old daughter after the class, she held two white paper plates and said that they were ice skates.  Interesting, I thought, until she slipped them under her shoes and began to "skate" down the hallway.  Much to my surprise, a few other kids put on their "ice skates" and began skating as well.  It was too cute!  I'm sure these kids will have lots of fun doing this at home.

So, grab a couple paper plates for you and a child in your life and have fun!  When you can't go outside to do it, bring the fun inside and go ice skating!:)

Homemade Gatorade

A church friend of mine talked to me the other day about something she uses to help her feel better on bad days.  She has fibromyalgia and says that the a mix of homemade gatorade really helps her a lot.  I thought I would give it a try since sometimes I've got days where I get really tired, especially now with my health issue.  Supposedly, this is what Lance Armstrong uses on his bike, why not give it a try, eh?  Here's the recipe:

Use a water bottle (she gave me a mix using an Arrowhead water bottle that is 1 pt., 0.9 fluid oz.) to mix the following combination of ingredients:  1 tsp. salt, 20% juice, 80% water.  Make sure that you use 100% fruit juice.  You can also start off with a smaller amount of salt when you're first beginning to use it.

Give it a try and let me know how you feel.:)  It's wonderful!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What God's been teaching me....

It's been two weeks since I saw the specialist to discuss what needs to be done concerning a health issue I've been having.  It looks like the only thing that can be done is surgery.  Last year I had an appendectomy and had to return to the hospital because of an infection.  Over time, scar tissue has built inside of me, causing pain, discomfort and (temporary) infertility.  I'll most likely have the surgery done within the next few months.  Over time, the pain can worsen and we want it to be taken care of as soon as possible.

It was right before Thanksgiving when my husband and I went to see the doctor, and all I could think was, "What can I be grateful for during this time?"  Here are some things that God's been showing me lately, that I hope is an encouragement to you as well:

1.  God has a perfect plan for my life.  (Romans 8:28)  Whether or not this includes motherhood, I need to keep giving glory to God with my life.
2.  God loves me and takes care of me daily.
3.  I am learning that God needs to be my complete satisfaction and joy.
4.  Our trials "worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." (2 Corinthians 4:17)  
5.  Finally, I am so thankful for the people God has put in my path as I go through this.  I've appreciated the many prayers and kind words of family and friends.

If I can be of help to any of you who may be going through a trial right now, let me know.  I'd love to pray with you and encourage you any way I can.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Absolutely the best planner out there....

As the end of the year approaches, I've been thinking about what sorts of things I'd like to do in the start of the new year....reorganize closets and cupboards, give clothes to Goodwill, etc.  Then I remembered my planner!  I need to order a new one as soon as possible so that I can jot down all these ideas and goals.

For the past two years, I've been using the Busy body book.  I really like it a lot.  I love how it has a lot of space to write down every thing, including shopping lists, to do lists, important dates, and special notes.  The column/grid style is wonderful because I can see all that I have to do, as well as all that my husband has to do for each date.  You can check it out more in detail by clicking here.

I hope this gives you a great idea to help you get organized for 2009.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cute summer shirt

This past spring, I worked long and hard on making myself a shirt I could wear during the summer.  Since it was my first try, I bought cheaper fabric just in case it didn't turn out.  There are several mistakes if you look real close, but I thought it turned out well.  I used an "It's so easy, it's Simplicity" pattern #3732.  There are a couple variations to this shirt, so I think it's something I can definitely make again.

Simple baby dress

I had so much fun making this first baby outfit several months ago.  I gave it to one of my friends who had her fourth little girl.  I used Simplicity pattern #4243.
I bought material at Walmart and did snaps in the back since I'm a beginner sewer and have yet to master the technique of doing button holes and zippers.  I have a new babylock machine and am excited to keep learning the many techniques of sewing.  With three babies on the way in our family, this pattern may come in handy in a few months. There's also a pattern to do boy outfits as well, so I'd better get practicing just in case!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Filling our minds with the right things

It's always encouraging to be reminded of good things every day, isn't it?  Not too long ago, I found some window clings at the dollar store.  There were several in the package, and each one had lines on it so that you could write your own message on it with a dry erase marker.  My husband was on a retreat that weekend, so I thought I would surprise him by putting these up on our bathroom mirror.  I wrote encouraging and sweet notes to him and he loved it!  It's been fun, too, because he's surprised me back by writing things to me on them.  I've lately written Bible verses or phrases to hymns on them.  It's been an awesome thing to look at them while we're getting ready in the morning.  I love Philippians 4:8 which says,

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;  if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." 

God wants us to think on right and pure things.  The Bible also says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."  So, if we're planting Scripture in our hearts and minds, it's going to come out in our actions and words.  But, if we're planting things that are not right, those things will eventually come out, too.

What other ways can we encourage others and be encouraged in the Lord? I thought of a few other things that will get you excited:

1.  Place Scripture verses anywhere and everywhere in your house.  You can buy some in frames already, or you can print some out and frame them yourself.
2.  Write encouraging notes to your spouse and children on their mirrors in their bedrooms/bathrooms, on a little piece of paper for their lunch, or even a special card and treat hidden under their pillow.
3.  Use the time while you're getting ready in the morning and cooking to memorize and meditate on Scripture.  Write down verses on 3 x 5 cards so that they can be easily posted.
4.  Use audio cd's and Christian radio programs to listen to godly music, Scripture and sermons.  Your entire family can take part of this during a quiet time of the day.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baby Moses, the Red Sea and Manna

We absolutely love our jr. church kids.  For the past few months, Q and I have taken on the responsibility of running the 4 and 5 year-old jr. church, along with two other adults.  We've been going through lessons from the life of Moses.  We usually have them do a coloring sheet after the lesson, but every once in a while, we try to think of things that are different that they can do to help them remember what they've learned. 

For the first lesson, "baby Moses", we made clay babies wrapped in a basket and placed on a little blue sheet of paper that represented water.  Each child got one color of clay for the basket and another color for the baby.  They really loved these and they all turned out so cute!  

When they learned about the crossing of the Red Sea, my husband had the kids act out the story.  One group of kids were the Israelites, another were the Egyptians, and the last group was the Red Sea.  When Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, the children who were the sea, moved aside to let them go through. But, when the Egyptians started crossing, the sea "captured" them and wouldn't let them go.

We like to give the kids a snack during the last part of jr. church, so on the day that they learned about manna, they actually got to eat some. wasn't exactly manna, but we thought it was pretty close!  They got to enjoy frosted corn flakes as a special treat that morning.

As we continue to work our way through the life of Moses, we may have more ideas on how to make the lessons come alive.  I'll keep you posted on more things as time goes along.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A special little something for our missionaries

Our church has recently been "flooded" with thank-you notes from our missionaries.  Not too long ago, we sent each missionary family a small package. Inside was a DVD that had church members talking to them, telling them how they pray for them.  A sermon and special music was also a part of the DVD.  Some ladies in our church also got together to make jewelry for the missionary wives, so those were also included in the package.  I'm sure it was a great surprise for them to receive this right before Christmas. It may have been small to us, but it was a big blessing to the families who received it.

Has your church ever done anything like this?  If not, this is a neat idea to get you started on letting your missionaries know how much you care and pray for them.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First snow cookies

When I was newly married, a friend of mine told me of a tradition that she and her family did every year, and I thought it was a great one to share with all of you.  She said that on the first snow of the season that she made "snow cookies" to enjoy with her husband and kids.  They enjoyed eating these right out of the oven with a cup of hot cocoa.  

I thought of it earlier this year, and today it actually snowed!  (We had a little wet snow for a little bit the other day, so I didn't count that as a real first snow).  It's been coming down pretty much all day and it looks so beautiful outside.  You can make any kind of cookie, but I decided to make traditional snow ball cookies.  I'll be enjoying them with my husband and a couple teens we're having dinner with tonight.  Here's the recipe I used:

Snowball Cookies

1 cup soft butter
6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. water
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans

Mix ingredients together then shape into balls.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  After they have cooled, roll them in powdered sugar.  This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen snowball cookies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkey Enchiladas

Are ya still eating Thanksgiving dinner leftovers like we are?  I found a new recipe out of Healthy Cooking magazine from Taste of Home.  I was able to use most of our left over turkey meat tonight with this recipe.  It came out really well.  Q loved it!  Here it is...

Turkey Enchiladas

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 tsps. canola oil
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsps. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup (8 oz.) fat-free sour cream
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
3 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
3/4 cup salsa
8 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed

1.  In a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook and stir onion and green pepper in oil until tender.  Sprinkle with flour, coriander and pepper; stir until blended.  Gradually stir in broth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in sour cream and 3/4 cup cheese.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the turkey, salsa, and 1 cup cheese mixture.  Spoon 1/3 cup turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and place seam side down in a 13-in. x 9-inn.2-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Pour remaining cheese mixture over the top.
3.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Making it special

This past summer, I had a unique visit with one of my friends from church.  While my husband was away on a missions trip, my friend, Coco, and her daughter invited me to go swimming with them at their apartment complex.  On that day, it down poured with rain, so we decided just for me to come over for dinner.  I offered to bring some chocolate cake that I made the day before. She thought it was a great idea since it was her daughter's birthday and they had been so busy that week and didn't have the cake planned.  We had pizza, then her husband came home from work and joined us for a good time.  Next thing you know, Coco is taking apart my "almost complete" cake and transforming it into a wonderful creation.  She took the biggest piece and placed that on the bottom of the plate, then placed the smaller piece on top.  Then, she poured caramel sauce, whipped cream and sprinkles on top.  I was amazed!  Since that time, I've thought about the things I do for Q and wondered to myself, "Am I making it special?  Am I adding that special little touch?"

Some of us may think that we're not as creative as my friend, Coco, but we can always be thinking on how to honor a family member or a friend with something they like.  Even if it is just sprinkles, we can sure make them smile.:)