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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

There’s A “Festivus” In All Of Us!

The holidays are officially here.  Before your social calendar fills up, add one more shindig to your agenda: bring your community together by hosting a holiday party in your neighborhood. Some of our favorite party ideas include:
Gift Making Get Together
What do you give the people in your life who impact your life in a big way, but aren’t family or big friends?  It’s a struggle to find affordable, thoughtful gifts for the pet sitters, accountants and other helpers in your life.  So gather together some supplies and your friends, and spend an afternoon making Christmas or Hanukah gifts.  Check out websites like Martha Stewart’s or Pinterest for gift ideas.
A Caroling We’ll Go
Holiday music is a tried and true favorite!  Give everyone a chance to belt out their favorite tune by hosting a karaoke sing-a-long.  Buy or rent a karaoke machine (most party rental businesses offer them) and get some carols to sing along to.  Ask people to pick their favorites, and serve eggnog or hot cider to sooth throats after a big solo number.
Wrap Up The Gift Giving Season
All of your Christmas and Hanukkah shopping is done and now you’re ready to wrap!  Ask your neighbors to gather together their wrapping supplies (think tape, scissors, paper, ribbon and gift tags) and meet up for a gift-wrap party.  You’ll be amazed how quickly your wrapping done while you chat with your neighbors – and you won’t have to worry about repetitive wrapping paper.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Holidays are for Time with Family and Friends

From all of us at Jensen communities® we wish you and yours an enjoyable Holiday Season with family and friends.
We understand that as families come together to celebrate and take part in traditions; time is precious.  We all will have to get back to our work or regular routines all too soon!  At Jensen’s we are taking Christmas and New Year’s Eves as full days off and Sales will be off the Saturday before the Christmas holiday but open the Saturday before the New Year’s holiday.  With few exceptions the Jensen Offices will be open between Christmas and New Year’s. 
We also understand that families and friends talk about possible changes in life such as moving to a new home and community.  You may have visitors in from out of town who might be interested in learning more about a Jensen Community.  Very often our sales representatives can accommodate your busy schedules if you are interested in showing your community or new homes to your visitor(s) on a day we may be closed.  If you call our offices and/or reach our answering services they will make every effort to contact your Sales Representative to answer your questions.  Making a special appointment in advance during the holiday season is the best way to ensure your Sales Representative can be available to you.
Making a move is often best made with input from family or friends.  If we can help while your family is in town, please let us know.
Have a joyous, healthy and safe Holiday Season.
Kris Jensen III
Get in on the Good Life!®
800-458-6832

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Crantastic Cookies!

Last time I wrote, I gave you my all-time favorite pumpkin bread recipe.  And this time, I feel like sharing once more.  I hope you’re hungry!
Now that December, and the holiday season is here, a whole new slew of sweets and treats are up for the making, baking and partaking: from candy to cookies to breads and appetizers, I could spend days pouring over my holiday recipes.  The richness of the season – with sweet chocolate, tangy citrus, and aromatic meats – brings out the inner chef in me to try new creations in the kitchen.  I love both traditional Christmas and Hanukkah fare, such as candy canes and challah bread – and I love finding new ways to enjoy them! 
Without a doubt, cookies are my crowning masterpiece of the holiday season.  I’m especially partial to those that contain a combination of sweet, tangy and crunchy.  The following recipe comes from Ocean Spray (the crown jewel of cranberries!), and it’s a much-requested dessert.  It blends white chocolate (the sweet), oatmeal (the crunch) and cranberries (the tangy) into one heavenly cookie.  Bonus?  They’re easy to make!
Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 5-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.
  3. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Get In On It!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A New Year. A New Focus.

When my wife and I were younger, we relied on the help of family, friends and neighbors to make our life easier. Whether it was a helping hand to repair a gutter, or the willingness of a friend to watch our children for an afternoon, we often remarked to one another how lucky we were to have people in our lives willing to help. 
My life has become easier since down-sizing and moving to my new low maintenance Jensen home. In fact, I find myself with a lot of free time. So I got to thinking: my wife and I are lucky.  Not everyone has a support system they can turn to like here at Jensen’s.  Somewhere in my community there must be an opportunity for me to help.  So for 2013, I’m making my first-ever New Year’s Resolution: to use my time in retirement to help others in our town.
Now, I’ve never been one to see the value in New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve always thought that if something is worth doing, why wait?  But I think it’s important to set goals, and there are a lot of ways I want to help.  I’d like to get involved with a local non-profit organization, volunteer with a youth service, or help-out at a local animal shelter.  I may be able to do more than one and know I can enrich my life and my community when I donate time to help others less fortunate than us. So, starting in January, you might just see me around town, pitching in.  And hey – maybe I’ll even bring along a few buddies from here at our Jensen Community!
Flyin’ Free
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