The things that last forever, cannot be bought and wrapped with a bow…..

For weeks, I had been planning every detail to create a magical Christmas experience for our family who would be coming to visit this year. I meticulously decorated every nook & cranny of our home, paying attention to the tiniest of details.

Christmas arrived on Sunday, delivered with each smiling face of loved ones crossing the threshold of our door.

The dim silence of our home dissipated like fog through a ray of light and our home filled with the warmth of hugs, echoed with laughter and erupted in Christmas cheer!

On the day of arrival, I made a big pot of beef stew and a huge pan of biscuits. True to form, I made enough to feed 3 times as many as the 14 people in the house! lol We’ll be eating stew for weeks and I sent a gallon sized ziploc bag stuffed with biscuits home with my daughter-in-love, Lisa Marie. With all the desserts I had made already, my daughter Krista also arrived bearing an array of delicious goodies!

Oh to be surround by loved ones! It’s the best place on earth! Brothers and sisters getting together, having those meaningful conversations, laughing, joking and loving on the nieces & nephews.
Grandbaby cousins running all over the house, squealing with delight & laughter! Our home came alive with palatable joy.

At Thanksgiving, I had talked about wanting to get a toy box so all the Littles would have things to play with when they’re here and the parents wouldn’t have to bring toys and feel like they’re moving every time they want to visit. My daughter-in-Love, Ciara, so thoughtfully fulfilled my wish by bringing a huge bin of toys and books! AND, all the Littles had a blast playing with them as evidenced by toys all over the house! It indeed looked like Christmas!

Monday was our big celebration day.
We had banana Granola Crunch pancakes for breakfast, opened gifts that afternoon before dinner and had family game night with a table for adults and one for the kiddos, complete with winners prizes that became a dirty Santa event.
Dinner Menu:
Prime Rib w/ Horseradish
Rotisserie Chickens
Sautéed Mushrooms
Crispy Parmesan crusted potatoes
buttered corn
Mac n Cheese
Salad & Dinner Rolls.

Tuesday…For Christmas gift, we surprised the ladies with a trip to the spa and while the guys took care of the kids, I took the teenagers, Keely & Phoenix for a Mimi girls day with lunch, a shopping spree at the mall then before returning home, a stop at our favorite ice cream parlor for ice cream and a gallery walk through Local Colors art gallery.

My husband ordered pizzas and we spent the evening playing games, reading stories and having fake snowball fights with the kids, drinking in every moment.

Spending this time with our kids and grandbabies, I am reminded that with all the presents under the tree…a month, a year, in years to come, they will not remember what a single one of them was.

What they will remember is playing with their cousins at Christmas time at Mimi & PawPaws, having a fake snowball fight through the house with their grandparents, sitting on the floor around the coffee table coloring with Mimi,
PawPaw wrestling matches, sitting on Mimi’s lap reading stories, singing “head, shoulders, knees & toes” with Uncle Bubba. (Our son Jimmy ), a girl’s day outing with Mimi, a spa trip with the sisters in law.

These are the things that last forever. They cannot be bought and wrapped with a bow. It’s the time we spend together and the moments that make great memories.

Have a Merry Christmas My Friends &
Make memories for a lifetime.

Always With Love – Laura 💕


Sm Bag of small gold potatoes

1/2 c butter melted

1 jar grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Wash and cur the potatoes into thick slices.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut an X into one side of the potato slice.

In a baking pan, pour the melted butter, parmesan cheese, and seasonings into the bottom. Stir to combine and spread the paste evenly over the bottom of the baking dish.

Add in the potato halves, with the scored side of the potato facing down in the parmesan paste.

Bake at 415° for 25 minutes.

  • Now what I like about the following recipe is that this is NOT a pudding type pie! It’s much more like something between a fudge and a brownie! Yummy!


4 oz semi sweet chocolate baking bar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 refrigerated pie crust dough

Opt: Whipped Topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 8 or 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Place pie dough into prepared pie plate. Flute edges and set a side.

In a medium or small pot melt butter and chocolate over low heat stirring continuously. Add sugar and stir to combine. Turn off burner and let rest for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Add just a little of the chocolate mixture into the eggs to temper the eggs and not cause the eggs to scramble. Add more of the chocolate and keep whisking. Finish adding the chocolate and mix well. Pour batter into pie crust.

Bake in preheated oven on LOWER rack for 30 minutes, then move pie to TOP rack for an additional 10-15 minutes. Use a sheet of foil tented to place over pie about 1/2 way through the 10 minute time frame to keep the pie crust from over cooking.

Allow to cool completely before serving with whipped cream, if desired.


2 cups sugar

3/4 cup sour cream (not light)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup white chocolate chips

7 oz marshmallow creme 1 jar

1 tsp vanilla extract (clear vanilla extract if you want whiter fudge)

5 oz dried cranberries 1 bag – or Craisins

Optional- 1/2 c chopped nuts


Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Combine sugar, sour cream, butter and salt in a heavy 2 qt saucepan.

Bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, to soft ball stage (238 degrees).

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until fully melted. This will take a few minutes 🙂

Stir in the marshmallow creme and vanilla extract until smooth and blended.

Stir in dried cranberries until evenly distributed.

Pour into the baking dish, cool to room temperature.




  1. Spending time with our families is the best, especially when we don’t see them often. We’re en route to Portland to rendevous with our son and future daughter-in-law.

    Liked by 1 person

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