Friday, December 30, 2011
Our Christmas was lovely, thank you for asking. It was bookened by some of us being sick, my son on Christmas Eve and my husband and I the day after Christmas. In between we managed to remember the precious Baby in a manger, the promise of life for the whole world.
2011 was a good year; nothing outstanding, nothing awful. Average but lovely in its averageness. I feel like (by God's grace and strength) I became more purposeful in my parenting, more forgiving of my mistakes, less critical of others, and more disciplined in my routine. Even in tiny increments, those are big steps for me.
I'd like to make some kind of list of highlights from the year but am moderately discouraged by the thought that this might not post . . . also trying to thing right now is daunting. Hmmmm . . .winter, spring, summer, fall. The year cycles by so fast; the days lengthen and shorten and goodnight kisses are given before it seems possible another day has passed.
God is faithful. If there's any theme I see as I look back over the year, it's that our loving Father, God, is faithful.
And will continue to be.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Here's a winner: Kate told us there's a girl at her school who has a ipod4. This thing can talk . . . and walk. If she needs a pencil, she tells the ipod and it gets the pencil for her.
I do have a bunch* of pictures to post, of all the pinterest/stumble** inspired stuff I did . . . and the hilarious collapse of our gingerbread house (you may have seen it on FB already).
* by "bunch" I mean 3 or 4.
** I still like Stumble. Because you get to see the whole website. There's some good reads out there . . . and some lame ones. Also I can't install the 'pin' button so I can't pin the stuff I find on Stumble. Sometimes I have them both open at the same time because the computer loads so slowly and I have a very short attention span.
Overall I cannot believe that Christmas is 9 days away. I have my South Carolina presents wrapped and in a box to go but nothing else wrapped. And not even everything bought. I want to do a bunch of baking . . . so little to do, so much time, right?
Maybe I'll stumble for awhile, just in case there's a craft I haven't seen yet that I can squeeze in before Christmas.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Later on, she asked if the Muppets were fiction or non-fiction.
"I think they're fiction," I answered.
"But there are real people in it," she countered.
Since I had kept her home from school because her pinkeye has blossomed from just a little gunk in the corner of her eye to a swollen, red, oozing mess and I could not plausibly plead ignorance of her condition, I thought I should answer her honestly so the day could be slightly educational. I tried leading her to the right answer without telling her directly.
"The Muppets are puppets," I said, hoping I wasn't destroying her childlike belief in magic.
She gleefully exclaimed, "Then they're REAL!"
Childlike wonder win.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
So in between printing Lego party stuff and sanding another project, I did this one afternoon:
I used my 1.5" circle punch on this graphic from the Graphics Fairy (also a Craft Catwalk find, I think). I used 4 for this but had to print 5 since apparently Kate needed one. I used my glue gun to attach them and sort of arranged them in a random pattern, overlapping to cover the styrofoam. I sealed it with glossy modge podge and sprinkled on some glitter. I finished it with some hemp from Close to my Heart and two little rusticy bells that I've had forever.
The wooden topper and stand came from the wood stuff aisle at AC Moore. I spray-painted them black and since that's flat, I did a coat of glossy sealer. I just hot glued those on and could not BELIEVE how great it looked. I am just thrilled it turned out great with such little effort. I was all I love it when a craft comes together and since I thought that was so clever I put it as my FB status.
Since I was high on success, I made a ruffly one. This one was a little more work (it's hard to ruffle burlap and I don't have a fancy ruffler foot [doesn't that thing look cool?] like Shanty 2 Chic has); I kept having to yank ruffles off the melted styrfoam to re-arrange the layers AND the hot glue was messing up my manicure. But I LOVE how it turned out:
I was pulling one of the threads in the burlap to make a straight line to cut (saw this idea online but don't have the link) and realized it was ruffling as I pulled so I ran it through the machine and straightened the edges. I got the muslin in the remnant bin a JoAnne's and frayed the edges of that, too. I ruffled that the old-fashioned way, by doing a running stitch and then pulling the bobbin thread. Same topper and "trunk" as the other but painted off-white (with really old trim paint).
That fully awesome advent calendar came from Country Treasures in Maine and I have to say I've been wanting something like that for longer than I can remember, but everything was either wildly expensive (I'm looking at you, Pottery Barn) or gaudy or cheesy or just not right. But that one? Perfect. I put the bow on it and like some of my mother-in-law's friends suggested, I could use it for more than Christmas by switching out the bow. It's a teeny bit sparkly and perfect.
So what are you waiting for? Go grab some styrofoam cones (I got mine at AC Moore but I later I saw some at the dollar store) and make your own.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Seriously, I wasn't going to plan and host another party here, ever, after the Halloween Party. Did I mention there were 17 kids here? It was a lot of work, and fun, but I thought I'd need a year or two to recover.
Craig and I were discussing options for Sam's birthday and Sam said he wanted a Lego party. We'd done one two years ago, with the kit from the store, but I thought we could make this one more of a games and free-build party.
I looked all over the web (and Pinterest) for ideas. I started with Birthday Party Ideas but the party at Delia Creates was where I got most of my ideas. I didn't do a lot; these two parties are amazing to me, how thorough they are with their design concepts, but I really wanted to stick to primary Lego colors.
I'm not sure exactly where I saw this idea, it's gotta be one of those links above:
I filled this jar with two little "City" Lego sets (minus the three pieces that were too big for the jar) and the guests guessed how many; the closest won the legos (and the instructions to build!).
I saw these somewhere, too; maybe pinned on Pinterest. There were a few things I saw that I could recreate without following the link. I just used my 1.5" circle punch and glued "studs" on the bags. (That punch got quite a workout last week, as you'll see in a later post). (The "8" on the baseplate pictured at the top of the post was a Pinterest idea, too.)
(blurry pic of kids in Sam's room with Mario figures) and later transitioned to Jedi light saber battles.
My first idea was for these heads to be masks they held up with paint stirrers but the day I was at Lowe's there were none on the counter and no one around to ask for 6 paint stirrers. So I said, "Cut out eyes when you get home and have a mask," and then somoene taped his head on his face so they all (minus one) did it and I took their picture:
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Not only will I try to snap a shot, I'll try to post it.
May your week be blessed with family and food. I am thankful you take the time to read here.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
1. Turkey, of course. I have a lovely large pan and rack I got all those years ago for the other turkey.
2. Mashed Potatoes: my fave.
3. Green Bean Casserole: the classic. Craig loves it.
4. Pennsylvania Dutch Potato and Bread Filling: maybe I'll share. It's from my Grandma Reidenouer.
5. Crescent Rolls: you know, the ones from the pop can. This comes from Craig's side of the family; my family never really had bread with the meals but now I love 'em.
6. Pumpkin Pie: It is not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.
7. Pecan Praline Pie: the Leland family classic
8. Pumpkin-Almond Cheesecake: because it looks good and why not? I use the springform pan once a year; this could make it two times.
9. Hot Curried Fruit Compote: another Reidenouer tradition
10. Another veggie, probably those carrots with caramelized onions
Probably some stove-top stuffing (Craig likes it from a box so that's easy) and of course a lovely and simple gravy from pan juices. Maybe a spinach-artichoke dip for an appetizer/pre-dinner snack.
What are you planning?
Linking to Top Ten Tuesday at ohamanda.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Old Bedford Village Pumpkin Drop Cookies. I can remember being there, walking around, and having these for the first time. I don't know if the recipe was there to pick up or buy or if my mom had to ask for it. I don't make them often because Craig doesn't really like pumpkin things (appalling!) and also because he thinks it's not a cookie if it doesn't have chocolate in it.
These are perfect, cakey and pumpkiny and soft . . . if you like pumpkin. Sam and I have been enjoying them very much.
Old Bedford Village Pumpkin Drop Cookies, as handwritten on a recipe card by my mom:
1 cup margerine (I used unsalted butter)
2 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin (1 lb)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (I used 1/2)
1 tsp. lemon juice*
1 cup coconut*
1 cup broken nuts*
4 cups flour
(* I didn't have any of these so didn't add them)
Mix everything in order given. (I used my mixer, creaming the butter and sugar first, and then adding the other ingredients as I measured them.)
Be sure to mix flour last.
Use two teaspoons or a cookie scoop to place dough on cookie sheets.
(I used my largest P. chef scoop.)
I scooped some out and chilled them in the fridge for about half an hour and then rolled them in the leftover sugar/spice mix from the pumpkin snickerdoodles. This didn't make any noticeable difference in the taste, but it did make me feel good for using the rest of that mixture.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This recipe comes from the Mousam Lake Cookbook, a cook book of contributions from people on the lake where my in-laws have a camp. I don't have one, I think they were printed before I met Craig. Despite their official name, in my mind I refer to this as "Sandra's Apple Cake" since my first experience with them were when Craig's aunt (Sandra) made these and added the chocolate chips.
I scribbled down the recipe on this lovely piece of Sal's stationery. I keep recipes I print from the internet or write down or pull from magazines in page protectors in binders. If I had more energy or initiative I might make the whole thing matchy-matchy and incorporate some system for adding new recipes other than waiting until the pile of new ones is so big I have to sit down and add 56 new pages. But this system works well enough; I found this in the "breakfast/bread" binder in the "bread" section so it's not that disorganized.
For some reason we did not go apple picking this year. It was never really convenient or we didn't have energy when it was, so I bought the apples at the grocery store. I got a Granny Smith to add in but in the final product you can't tell that I mixed it up like that.
Mix ingredients, spread in pan. Spread brown sugar and mini chocolate chips on top.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Edible Eyeballs: Again with the cram cheese not wanting to stick. Apparently a real pain to assemble. (My neighbor made these first two.)
Friday, November 4, 2011
Some of the jars have water with food coloring in them. For the "deadly nightshade" one, I modge podged in the inside and added black glitter.