Thursday, September 22, 2011

Christmas T Minus 94 Days Away

Christmas is only 94 days away and I have zerio shopping done. But, I know what I want to gett Anna. A little play kitchen. She'll be 18 months old in December and I think that it might be a little early ??? but, who cares. Last year I got her an upholstered recliner/rocker thing and she still isn't using it but it's super cute sitting by her play things. ;)

I love this one! I love all Kid Kraft products but this is my favorite.

And, I guess that's all I have. I don't really like the plastic ones I have found. I still have my kitchen I got for Christmas about 25-26 years ago. All teh grandkids STILL play with it. It is a Fisher Price and I still love it. :) Hopefully, Anna will get lots and lots of years of play with her little kitchen.

What are you planning on getting your kiddos for Christmas? And, anyone else in your life? All the other people in my life are still on a list with nothing beside their name...gotta get to shoppin'!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

cookies, contd.

See previous post for delicious recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie!
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To "Fall" For Cookies

Mmmm. Cookies. I love fall and it makes me want to bake. Chocolate chip cookies (ccc) in particular. In the summer I just don't see myself enjoying a hot-from-the-oven ccc. But since the temps have plummited from 102 to 98 I felt it was time. ;)

In 2007 I found the most perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe after being on a quest since I was at least 7. I love baking but after many ccc baking failures I gave up. I know the year was 2007 because it was a month before our wedding and I got volun-told to bake some ccc for a work pot luck. So, to the internet I headed and i found one that seemed promising from the description and it fulfilled it's promise by being chewey and soft in the center and the perfect crisp on the outside. Even days later, if they last that long, they are still chewey and have that crisp edge.

So, I guess I will share it with you. I found it on so it isn't like you couldn't find it on your own. It isn't a super secret recipe passed down from generation to generation but I hope to pass it on to Anna and one day, far, far away I hope share it with my grandbabies. On 9/25/2007, the date on the paper I printed it had received 5 out of 5 stars by 1,014 people. So, every one of those people gave it 5 stars. You will too. However, if you do not have baking soda please don't attempt to make these. That is the secret. Here you go!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cream together butter and both sugars until smooth
Beat in eggs one at a time
Add vanilla
Disolve baking soda in hot water and then add to the mix along with salt
Add flour one cup at a time
Stir in choclate chips and nuts
Bake about 10 minutes or just until they get firm and slightly brown. Pull them out and let them cool a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to cooling racks then an air gift canister. Enjoy!

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

hear·ing [heer-ing]
1. the faculty or sense by which sound is perceived.
2. the act of perceiving sound.

lis·ten   [lis-uhn]
verb (used without object)
1. to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.
2. to pay attention; heed; obey (often followed by to ): Children don't always listen to their parents.

Recently, I needed to find out how much I owed on our water bill so I could set up my web bill pay so I called our city municipal office and I asked the lady who answered the phone that I needed to know the amount I owed for that month. She asked me my account number and I gave it to her. "Ma'am, you're calling the City of Boerne." she sweetly replied. "I know and I just need to know how much our bill is so I can set up my payment to be sent in on time." I told her. Once again her sweet voice said, "Ma'am, you're calling the City of Boerne." I know that I made one of my "Seriously??" faces even though she couldn't see me. She had already told me this and I heard her clearly the first time. I tried explaining it another way by saying, "I normally drop my payment off but I'm setting up my web bill pay and now I'm going to have the bank send it. I forgot what it is every month so I need to find that out so I can get my payment in on time." Again, she repeated for the third time, "Ma'am, you're calling the City of Boerne."

Now, I was getting kind of annoyed. Was the sweet voice on the other line really just a parrot that they trained to only repeat one sentence and not a real, live person? I grew even more annoyed and I said, "My name is Holly Kallemyn. I live at ___street address___. I pay you every month and my checks are being deposited by someone because they are clearing my account. I can look at my past bank statments but I lost the bill you send in the mail and I just need to know the amount." Hopefully, I thought, she'll give me the amount I owe and I can get on with my day. This time the sweet voice started out the same with, "Ma'am" but she must've been a real live person because she said something other than "You're calling the City of Boerne. "Ma'am, you are outside of the Boerne City Limits. You need to call Kendall County Utility and their numbers is ___________." Yeah, I immedietly felt like the biggest idiot and I quickly hung up the phone. And, the best part was I had given her my name and address. She now knows who this idiot is on the other end of the line was. Great.

Has this ever happened to you? Not the above scenario per say; I'm assuming you all KNOW who you pay every month and where you live. ;) But, when you are hearing what someone is saying but you aren't really listening? I struggle with this a lot. I blame it on my self-diagnosed ADD most of the time but I find myself in this situations more often then not. Sad, I know. But, I leave conversations and think, "what did they say?" or "what did they mean when they said ______?" I didn't listen or ask the right questions. It's easy to be so busy with whatever it is that is consuming your own thoughts to not really listen to people clearly which can cause more trouble than it's worth at times. You could've just focused on another person for 10 or 15 minutes, or a mere couple of minutes, instead of hearing your own thoughts. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not always in my own la-la land and ignoring you or the people I talk to all the time but I think this is something everyone struggles with; REALLY hearing,  REALLY listening to people.

There are people in our lives who really just want to be heard. Was it The Great Oprah (ha-ha) who said, "Everyone just wants to be heard." But, she is right on that one. Everyone just wants someone to listen to them. This is something I'm really working on. Stopping whatever it is I have in my own life to focus on the people who I love and cherish. Or, anyone, even strangers. What things do you struggle with everyday? Hopefully, I am not the only one who has found themself in a similar situation such as this. What am I missing everyday by only focusing on myself and my own problems, projects, or events? And, please. The next time you see me don't think I'm not listening to you. :) This was just one funny example that made me think how often we all communicate but we might miss something VERY important along the way.

Are you listening?
Picture found at:

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Yesterday Blake and I went with his brother Wade and sister-in-law Tiffany to the inaugural UTSA football game. It was fun! We tail-gated and sat on the front row at the game on the 40 yard line. There was 56,000 people and all the fans were loud, the band played and the cheerleaders ra-ra'd! But, in order to have all that fun we had to leave Anna behind. We normally leave her with my parents and if they aren't available then she gets to spend some time with Blake's parents. Well, both of the grandparents were out of town for the holiday weekend so we got a baby-sitter. I'm going to call her Fran. Fran is great. Anna loves her because she knows her. Fran was one of her first teachers at day care. She's loving, sweet with the kiddos and I had no worries leaving Anna with Fran.

We got back about an hour earlier than expected but I had written her a check for the full time we had said we'd be gone. When I handed Fran the check she said, "After being with Anna today and seeing where you come from and into your family's life (she watched Anna at my parent's house because our A/C got replaced yesterday) and being a fellow preacher's daughter I want to bless you and only take half of this. I can see your family has blessed many people and I want to do that for you." WOW! I was literally brought to tears.

How often are we witnessing not only to non-believers but to other believers? Those that we know already believe it's easy to over-look them sometimes. I mean, they already believe in Jesus and what good things he's about. We have mission trips and clothing drives and on and on and on to reach those who don't believe in Jesus. That's great! That is what He called us to do. But, by her blessing me, another believer, it opened my eyes and reminded me how we need to lift each other up everyday. Bless each other and encourage one another every single day. Something as simple as that made a huge impact on me and the rest of the evening I just felt so undeserving of that. I know that was not her intention and I wasn't having a pity party. I just know what things I need to work on and how I've strayed away from time to time and I'm not the best example and it brought me back.

In Revelation 2:4 in the letter written to the church of Ephesus He says, "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first." (ESV) After going through Beth Moore's study on Revelation and referencing various other versus I have come to know that the verse hits home with me. My first love; when I first believed and trusted Jesus as my Lord and savior. I was on fire and excited and ready to share with every single person what God has done in my life. You long to learn more about Jesus and everything is new and fresh. However, it's easy to let this fire burn out. Every day routines and all of life's events can all take over and make it harder to stay on track. I think this is a bit normal. People are human and God never said it would be easy. Jeremiah 2:2 says, "I remember your devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed med in the wilderness in a land not sown." Your relationship with Christ is like that of any other relationship with your spouse, your family, your friends, everyone. You have to spend time with one another to get to know each other more. You have to sacrifice doing some things in life so you can spend time with those you love and chose to have a relationship with. The blessing I received from Fran was a great one. It wasn't at all about saving money for a baby-sitter. It was about being encouraged by another believer. Something that provided a great example for me to bless others all around me.

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