Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Tis But A Memory

And so the curtain closes on another Thanksgiving.  My rolls turned out very good (though I still say that mom's have more flavor than mine did), I had a lot of help in the kitchen and I do believe a good time was had by all.  By the time we sat down to our Thanksgiving dinner poor little Miss B was exhausted.  We gave her a cute hot pink plate with some bits of turkey, rolls and mac & cheese and after maybe one bite her little peepers just closed and she was sound asleep.  Bless her heart - she tried so hard to keep up with us all.  I went and put her in her bed, then we finished our meal.

As is our tradition every Thanksgiving we go around and say what we are thankful for.  And apparently as is my own goofy tradition I start crying before I can finish.  We have so much to be thankful for and I'm always so happy having my family together and I guess it's just too much emotion.  :)

After dinner they all got out Rock Band and started playing it.  We had guitarists....
and drummers...
and bass guitarists and vocalists.  It really is a fun game and they all had a lot of fun doing it.
And of course there has to be a Brooklyn photo!  I have better pictures of just her, but I love this picture of her grandpa and her playing in the yard.  They both went crawling towards each other at lightning speed, though he did slow down at the end, because Brooklyn loves to "bonk" heads with people.  :)
Hard to believe tomorrow is already December!  Good times...
"O thou who has given us so much, mercifully grant us one thing more - a grateful heart." - George Herbert

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Second-Best Dinner Rolls in the Universe - I Hope!

You know there really isn't anything very pretty about a picture of roll dough....

This year I'm going to attempt the unthinkable - prepare the rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. Making bread and rolls doesn't scare me. Making Thanksgiving rolls from my mother's recipe that is the best roll in the universe does.

So far things seem to be coming along just fine. The dough is in the fridge and has risen enough that I even had to punch it down.

And like I told my mother, if these turn out awful and we end up running to the store for brown and serve, that in itself is a memory. In the coming years we can all laugh about the year that the rolls didn't turn out and we had store bought instead.

Good times.....

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” - James Beard

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Simple Embossed Card

Yesterday as I was getting a chemo angel package ready to send I realized I had no cards.  Sometimes when you are any sort of crafter there is a lot of pressure you put on yourself.  I almost feel bad putting on a sweater or gloves from the store because "surely I could knit that."  The same is true of papercrafting.  Before I started doing this I would take a piece of paper, fold it in half and use it as a card.  But that internal pressure keeps me from doing that now.  I have all these fabulous tools and should put them to use!

Since time was a factor - the package was ready to go to the post office and I like to do that before it gets dark - I reached for my embossing tools again.  This card literally took all of about 5 minutes to make and I'm quite pleased with it.  I'm thinking about doing a set of them just to have on hand.

(card recipe:  Lasting Impressions embossing template, Score-It for the outer square.)

I'll be leaving in just a couple of hours to pick up Miss B.  My heart just sings with happiness when I get to be with that little girl.  :)

"...Is any one of you happy?  Let him sing songs of praise." - James 5:13

Friday, November 21, 2008

Preparing for Thanksgiving

I took this picture of Joe last weekend and am always struck by how white his face is in photos. When I look at him in real life I don't really see it.

We have turned downright chilly here in Texas. Goodbye flip flops, capris and t-shirts and hello jeans, clogs and long sleeve tops. Goodbye Cheerios, hello oatmeal.

I look outside and see all the leaves on the ground and toy with the idea of bagging them. But Miss B will be here tomorrow and one of the things we enjoy is going outside and stomping on the leaves. Time enough later to do the work - I'm going to leave them out there for my grandbaby to have fun with.

This week has been filled with getting the house ready for guests next week. Like most people, I do a little extra cleaning before having people over. I think I've lost my mind a little this time though because yesterday I pulled most everything out of my kitchen cabinets and scrubbed the insides. Because, you know, that's what guests do is check out the inside of your kitchen cabinets.

So does everybody get a case of spring fever in the fall? I do like to get my home clean before bringing out the Christmas decorations. And the insides of my kitchen cabinets are indeed ready to be decorated.
"You prepare a table for cup overflows." - Psalm 23:5

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CFBA - White Christmas Pie

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter - Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)


Fascinated by the Amish people during the years of visiting her husband's family in Pennsylvania, WANDA E. BRUNSTETTER combined her interest with her writing and now has eleven novels about the Amish in print, along with numerous other stories and ministry booklets. She lives in Washington State, where her husband is a pastor, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the states.

This year Wanda also publishedA Sister's Hope


Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

Abandoned by his father, Will Henderson was raised by an Amish couple. Now he's about to marry Karen Yoder but is having second thoughts. Can Will overcome the bitterness of his past in order to secure his future? Karen cannot break through the barrier her fiance has suddenly constructed around his heart. When she seeks the advice of an old boyfriend, Will begins to see green. Has he already lost his chance for happiness?

When an accident threatens Will's life, the strength of blood ties is tested. Will a recipe for White Christmas pie contain the ingredients for a happily-ever-after?

If you would like to read the first chapter of White Christmas Pie, go HERE

I made a promise to myself when I started reviewing books that I would always be honest.  And I have to say that I just had a really hard time reading through this book.  I don't know if it just isn't a style of book I prefer or what it was, but I found myself skimming just so that I could say that I finished it.  I was disappointed that I couldn't get into the story as I am fascinated by the Amish people and the premise of the book was good.  Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to try another of Ms. Brunstetter's book sometime and perhaps I might enjoy it more.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY – November 17, 2008...

Outside my window...fall is definitely here. We have a cool breeze with a nip in the air and a when a neighbor just walked down the street I heard the sound of rustling leaves with his every footstep.

I am thinking...of how happy I am that Thanksgiving will be at my house this year. I dearly love having my family all together.

I am thankful traditions and the promise of joy at the holidays. I love the sound of laughter and teasing when we all get together and truly enjoy having family and friends in my home.

From the learning rooms...I’m on the final leg of my class this semester. I’m still undecided whether to take a class the spring semester or spend more time learning my camera. So much to learn and experience in this beautiful world of ours!

From the kitchen...up until a bit ago there was not a thing exciting in there. But Keith came home from work happy to inform me that today is National Bread Baking Day (or something like that) and who am I to argue? Right now my home smells simply divine with a loaf of bread baking in the oven.

I am wearing...jeans, t-shirt and flip flops

I am creating...I’ve been pulling out necessary tools and papers to make a sympathy card for a friend that just lost her father.

I am going...I actually have no “going” plans for a bit! Strange feeling since I tend to be on the go quite a bit.

I am Bible and my school book. Right now I’m between books.

I am hoping...that I can get everything done in time for the holidays! But if not, I’m ok with that too. My family is so wonderful about saying “Be all right” if things don’t go according to plan and we just switch to Plan B.

I am hearing...the tv while Keith watches a movie. Not sure which one.

Around the house...oh the mess! We’re pulling stuff out everywhere and rearranging and cleaning and tidying. But I’ll bet by the weekend it will be spit spot and we can relax and enjoy.

One of my favorite a moment with the husband. As we go about our evening and sometimes we’re in different parts of the house pursuing our interests, it’s always nice to see him pop in to tell me something. Or I’ll go out in the garage just to let him know the bread went in the oven. Small moments in time that we will always treasure.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I’ll be spending some time getting the official menu written down, then pull a shopping list out of that. I have a couple of cards to make and get in the mail and I want to work on finishing Brooklyn’s sweater.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
(This picture was taken yesterday at the lake.  He knows better than to get on the furniture at home, but I guess he knows that rules are a little more relaxed at the lake.)
For more glimpses into simple women's daily lives, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Homemade Sandwich Bread

Today's forecast was for a strong cold front to come through, complete with winds from the north.  Those winds are here and it's supposed to be quite cool at night now.  I believe that fall has arrived.
And so I get the urge to nest and cook.  This morning I started some sandwich bread and was delighted with how it turned out.  I've always loved homemade bread (who doesn't?), but really it doesn't work that great for sandwiches or toast.  This one does.  It slices thin and the texture is perfect.
The funny thing is, I got a text message from Keith about lunch time telling me he doesn't want to buy the "unnamed" bread that we usually buy ever again.  He said that it's stale, has no taste and smells.  I had planned this homemade bread to be a surprise, but what girl could pass up this opportunity?  I sent him a text telling him that I had a loaf of freshly baked bread waiting for him at home.  He was pleased.  :)
And now I've promised him that I will continue doing this and he can have his daily sandwich made with homemade bread.  It must be love....
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live by bread alone.'" - Luke 4:4

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Red Scarf Project Complete

I've had a real problem lately with not being a monogamous crafter/hobbyist.  I have way too many projects going and really I enjoy each and every one of them and hate for any of them to feel left out.  A couple of knitting projects, books to be read, a quilting project, scrapbooking, card making, and the list goes on.  If I would just narrow down the scope of what I enjoy doing it would probably make for a more productive me.  But where's the fun in that???  ;)
Today I finished a scarf for the Red Scarf Project, which uses them in Valentine's Day care packages for college-bound foster youth.  I have to say this pattern was one of the easiest I've ever done and I really like the stitch it produces.  Great tv watching knitting!
Yarn: Paton's SWS yarn in Natural Crimson - I had heard a lot about how this yarn splits while knitting.  It does split a LOT more than most yarns I've used, but it wasn't insurmountable.
And while taking the pictures of the scarf my cat Meeko jumped up on the nearby chair to figure out what was going on.  Since he hasn't gotten much air time on the blog I figured I'd post this photo, for which I'm sure he will be eternally grateful.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY November 10, 2008...

Outside my is storming to beat the band.  I am loving it because I am inside warm and dry and our lake levels are slowly going down.  God is so merciful to send the rain our way.

I am thinking...believe it or not about a garden next year.  I know next to nothing about gardening, so I've been doing some research and planning so that I can be ready.  Nothing in the world like homegrown tomatoes.

I am thankful family and friends.  I have so many wonderful people in my life.  And Saturday night I talked to my cousin on the phone for one and a half hours!  Oh the talking and laughing we did.  =)

From the learning rooms...needing to go in there and finish reading a chapter and get some homework turned in, but it's much more fun to post on my blog and go and visit others.  ~ sigh ~

From the kitchen...many a chocolate chip cookie was made yesterday as I baked for the troops.  I got them mailed today and Keith and I have decided this will be an ongoing monthly event in our household.

I am wearing...jeans, t-shirt, hoodie and....socks and tennies!  It's just a little too cool for my flip flops right now.

I am creating...I pulled my socks back out and am knitting on them again.  Sock knitting is probably my favorite.  I have also begun my quilted Christmas tree skirt!

I am bed very soon!  Tired today and hearing the rain makes me want to snuggle into my covers.

I am book right now.  Will begin another novel after I finish a chapter of school work - kind of a reward I suppose.

I am hoping...that a funny new "weight loss" program will work for me.  I just am not motivated right now to join WW again, even though I know it works very well.  But a group of friends and I started today taking a picture of everything we eat.  Everything.  And each day we will share the photos from the day before.  Really this should work along the same lines as WW as it's all based on accountability.  Might sound silly, but when I got the email from a friend asking me to join them I was intrigued.

I am hearing...the wonderful soothing sound of rain, along with the a large clap of thunder every now and then.  The cat ran under the bed when the first thunder shook our house.

Around the house...I need to dust!  Funny how that just sort of sneaks up on you!

One of my favorite watching Keith play with the Wii.  He laughs and will play the same thing over and over and over until he is satisfied with his score.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Let's see....Thursday night is knitting guild, Friday night is stamp club and then IHOP for dinner!  It should be a good week.  =)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

These are the cupcakes that Loni made for a recent work potluck.  Aren't they darling?

If you enjoyed this you'll probably enjoy reading some of the many other ladies that have participated.  Just click here and you'll find the index to the other blogs.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Operation Baking Gals

This is my package for Operation Baking Gals for November.  Each month there are many, many teams of 20 bakers that make cookies and send them to a soldier on a designated date.  This soldier will in turn open the packages and share with everybody in his/her unit.
I joined Team Cookies and Cards, which is a group of ladies that bake and also love papercrafting.  In addition to sending the cookies we are each sending 10 handmade, blank holiday cards.  I'm sure that where they are stationed it's not quite as easy to go down to the neighborhood store and get Christmas cards to send back home to family and friends.
When I first read about this project I didn't even hesitate before signing up.  Regardless of your political affiliation these young men and women are putting their lives on the line for our freedoms.  This is such a small thing to do as a thank you.  My cookies are chocolate chip because in our family chocolate chip cookies are the cookies of choice.  So I'm hoping that by receiving these cookies it will bring a little bit of home life to the soldiers while they are serving.
The card has a dry embossed gingerbread lady (hard to photograph) on the front and just some paper layering and ribbon.  I love the look of dry embossing and really don't do it near enough.

Friday, November 07, 2008

CFBA - Out of Her Hands

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Out Of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria - Tyndale House Publishers (September 22, 2008)


I was born and raised in New York State and have since lived in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and now I live in Colorado. My husband and I have three delightful, adult children and an old Jack Russell Terrier named
Belle who seems to find her way into my novels. My resume will tell you I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Communications, and after graduation I worked as a radio and television reporter, freelance writer, editor and marketing professional.

I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and am assistant director of Words For The Journey, Rocky Mountain Region.

But what's most important to know about me is that I am a follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, reader and writer.

Life’s a journey, enjoy the adventures!


In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Revere is back and continuing to struggle with the turmoil of contemporary life. Linda has been praying for her children's future spouses since they were very small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda is not prepared for the young woman her son brings home. But Linda soon learns that while everything she once controlled is out of her hands, God is still in control. Megan uses her trademark humor while dealing with issues to which her readers will relate.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Her Hands, go HERE

"No sophomore slump for DiMaria! This novel (Out of Her Hands) is as engaging and meaningful as her first, Searching for Spice. Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials."
~Romantic Times Magazine, 4 ½ stars TOP PICK!

“Life in Linda's world is messy...but filled with love, laughter, struggle and faith. Megan has created a most real heroine for us to love...and I adore her!”
~Deena Peterson, reviewer: A Peek at my Bookshelf

“Megan DiMaria crafts a novel so compelling, so real, you forget you're reading fiction.”
~Darcie Gudger, reviewer: TitleTrakk

"This is a great read for a quiet afternoon or in those times when you feel your own life spinning out of control and need the reality check of knowing you're not in it alone."
~Amazon reviewer

From the moment I saw the cover this book called to me. It just looked like fun. And it was fun. Linda has so many things happening at one time in her life that I kept wanting to hand her some bubble bath and tell her to go and relax in a hot tub. Unfortunately in life it's not quite that easy to take care of our problems.

My one complaint about the book is the amount of time that Linda spends directing her college age son in what to do. I started to get the feeling that maybe he spent so much time away from the house just to get away from her! But honestly she's doing everything out of love and a feeling of helplessness as she sees the life she once had and loved slip out of her grasp.

This was a fun, light read that left me thankful for my quiet life. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Grandparent Life Lessons

Where has this week gone???  I have a few pictures from our Sunday family time and here it is Thursday, but I'm still going to share them.  The kids all came over and we grilled hamburgers for lunch.  Hard to believe it's November as beautiful as the weather is.
As I looked through the pictures from Sunday I was struck by two things.  First was that I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I usually do and that was a surprise.  But second I noticed that we had a few grandparent life lessons that happened on Sunday.  The first was a grandma lesson shown above.  While having lunch I handed a napkin to Brooklyn, then started dabbing my mouth.  Of course she's a little magpie and copied my moves.  A lady needs to learn early the proper way to wipe her mouth doncha know. 
Next was her grandpa lesson out in the front yard.  Keith brought out two baseball gloves, a softball and a wiffle ball.  While he and Lynne' threw the softball back and forth Brooklyn chased the little wiffle ball around.  She even managed to walk close to Keith and chunk it at him a few times.
Now I'm in no way suggesting that we are the first to teach her these things.  In fact, I know for certain that Loni has already worked with B on throwing the ball.  But the photos just seemed so nice to me that we are each able to share something special with her.  Keith shares his love of outdoors and me, well I'm pretty messy while I eat so I do know my way around a napkin!

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children. - Psalm 103:17

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

My first time to join in! I keep seeing this on blogs everywhere and just love the little glimpse into the daily lives of these ladies and I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

For today...

Outside my window...a beautiful, perfect fall day complete with a breeze with just a hint of cool in it.
I am thinking...about the election tomorrow. I've read much and prayed even more and mostly I'm just wanting for me to be able to honestly say from the heart "Thy will be done" when it is over.
From the learning rooms...I need to turn in a chapter assignment and get a unit test completed by the end of the week. Have I mentioned that I'm taking an online college course this semester - my first in 23 years?
I am thankful amazing husband. He does so much for me to show his love and sometimes I get giddy as a school girl thinking of him. Seriously.
From the kitchen...We had really, really good grilled hamburgers yesterday when the family was over, so we are having leftovers for dinner tonight. We are trying to be better stewards of all that God has blessed us with.
I am usual work at home clothes - capris, t-shirt and Crocs flip flops. :)
I am reading...Out of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria, which will be reviewed on my blog later this week.
I am hoping...that I will be able to get all the crafts done that I am planning for the near future!
I am oddball pet snuggle. These are similar to the baby blanket I posted a bit ago where several of us knit part of a blanket. The pet snuggles are donated to local animal shelters to line the cages.
I am golden retriever play with his squeaky toy - over and over and over that thing is squeaking, so he is obviously having a grand time!
Around the house...I am slowly but surely getting some decluttering done. I'm hoping to get the office/scrapbook room done before the holidays set in and I've made tremendous progress.
One of my favorite sitting on the couch with Keith and watching a movie together. And while watching a movie I've always go handwork as I can't sit still that long without something to do.
A few plans for the rest of the week...dinner with some friends, more organizing (will it ever be finished?), scrapbooking Friday night with friends and hopefully several trips to the park with the husband and dog.
Here is a picture thought I'm sharing with you...

My birthday cake!

To see more Simple Woman's Daybook entries please visit The Simple Woman.

"I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live, May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord." - Psalm 104:33-34