Christmas Time in the Okanagan.

I wanted to write up a Christmas-y post this week before we our lives got so full that I forgot or ran out of time. One of the dear people in my life encouraged me to use the word “full” rather than “busy” and it does seem so much more positive to know that our life is full because of good people and fun students. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling for a post, so I decided to do a little glimpse into our lives at Christmas.

Some everyday things that are giving me joy:

  • my handcarved, wooden Nativity set I brought straight from the streets of Mozambique.
  • my students seem to love me.
  • Starbucks opened up 10 minutes away.
  • coffees brought to school from Lance&Tasha.
  • when I stood outside this week I could see the most perfectly formed tiny snowflakes landing on my plaid jacket.


-to serve your friends and families-

Some favorite Christmas recipes: Firecracker punch that’s a delicious easy go-to, a comforting soup I call Hauder Chowder, and a cinnamon side dish to inspire Christmas cheer. My students chose these pears for our Parent Supper this week and they seemed to go over really well. The oldest class boys sometimes promise me iced coffee if I will trade them some of these at lunch.

Firecracker Punch
4 cups pineapple juice
4 cups cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
Heat. Add 1 tsp. almond extract.
Add 2 liters of cold 7-up.
(we just each do our own cup)

Hauder Chowder
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 pound Italian sausage, Jimmy Dean’s is best
1/2 tsp. olive oil
4 cups peeled, diced potato
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup diced celery
1 cup heavy cream or millk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1.In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute. Add the Italian sausage and brown, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat.
2. In a soup pot, combine potatoes, chicken stock, and celery. I usually add carrots or whatever else is available since I don’t like celery. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage and onions to soup pot. Add the cream and cheddar cheese, stirring until all ingredients are combined and warmed again.
4. Serve with cheese and onions sprinkled on top.

Red Hot Pears
-2 29 oz. canned pears in dish. (reserve 1/4 c. juice)
-cook until melted: 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup red hots.
-combine 1/4 cup pear juice and 2 Tbsp. cornstarch and add to red hot mixture. Cook until thickened.
Place pears into bowl and pour mixture over pears. Chill.


-to buy for people you adore-

Ember Temperature Controlled Smart Mug

Stanley Tumbler

Beeswax Taper Candles

Harry Potter Illustrated Books. I want all of them.

Ticket to Ride Europe Board Game

Audible 3-month Membership

Ancestry DNA Test Kit


-to relax by the fire with-

The Scarlet Pimpernel

A Year in Provence

The Spark


Charmont Bilingual Academy

Charmont Bilingual Academy is a little school in Roatan, Honduras, that Morgan and I taught English at for a couple months in 2019. I have talked about them before, and some of you have donated Bible School money, or just from your own hearts. It’s a donation only program that supports a school and a little clinic there on the island. Ms. Valerie often gives until the money is gone and lives as the people do. There have been several children with debilitating or life-threatening diseases that she has been able to send to Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula for surgeries, and different families she helps with bags of rice or chicken, all through donations. If you’d like a way to give back this season, this is the perfect place. We know for a fact how the program and Ms. Valerie work and exactly where the money goes and there’s no better cause.

If you click a link and order, I may get a small commission. Have a wonderful week.♡

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