Football. Is. Over. Hallelujah! My boy is sad. He absolutely loved being on a team. He loved playing every day. He loved games. He worked hard & became an amazing football player in a few short months. Look, I have proof! At his last game he always had two, even three, guys on him (that’s him, #69, in the black/white/gold). That’s what a threat he became on the football field.

At home he became gentler, a bigger helper and more of a man. All I want is for him to stop that! Stop getting bigger. Stop growing-up. Stay my sweet little boy, stay home. Don’t leave.

Every year for Christmas my mother would start off the feeding frenzy with cream cheese smothered in red & green jalapeno jellies. It was one of my favorite traditions, and one I carried over to my kids. Until Germany.

In Germany I could not find jalapeno jelly. I searched high, low, in local stores, in the commissary, in every country we drove through. No jalapeno jelly. For five years we have been jalapeno jelly-less. Until yesterday.

Last week, while quilting up a storm of Christmas presents with my beautiful friend Sarah, we discussed Thanksgiving menu’s. And I professed my deep sadness at no jalapeno jelly. Sarah thinks I’m great. She thinks I can do anything. She just looked at me quizically and said:

“Why aren’t you making your own? You make every other kind of jelly.” This is true! I do jelly! It is sooooooooo easy here in Germany. You buy a baggy of this magic stuff (I believe it’s sugar & gelatin mix, but what do I really know?), boil your fruit on the stove, toss in the magic stuff, boil 4 minutes more, ladel into jars. Jelly!

So yesterday I boiled my peppers (bell peppers & jalapeno peppers), with a little apple cider for juice, tossed in a baggy of the magic stuff and… JALAPENO JELLY PEOPLE!

I almost burst with anticipation waiting for Dave & Cole to come home and try my jalapeno jelly. Cole came in first, all puppy dog sad, it was the very first day with no football whatsoever, saw the jelly on the counter, tried it, and lit up like a Christmas tree:

“Mom! You did it! This is soooooooo awesome! Teach me! Teach me! I gotta make this for my kids!”

See? That beautiful, big, ray of sunshine has to stop growing up & stay little.