Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Greatest Gift

Art Card #51: Made Me Think Of You!
When I hang the stockings for Santa I think of my Aunt M. She is an amazing woman. Anyone would be jumping for the chance to have her as an Aunt. She knit my family matching stockings. My Great Grandmother knit mine when I was a baby. I grew up hanging my hand knit, red and white stocking, with the green tree in the middle, on the fourth hook. It hung next to my brothers and sisters stockings every year. It was tradition to have matching stockings. After my Great Grandmother pasted away my Aunt took on the task of knitting matching ones for her own children. I learned about her incredible talent and yearned for my own children to have a special stocking. So I begged my Aunt M. to knit my family some. She knit three for my family. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her hard work. I love the way they look hanging on the hooks. Every year I think of Aunt M. and I smile.

Art Card #50: The Greatest Gift
This year my sister is making me a gift. It is a collection of memories about my mother. I can't wait to open it. It is going to be the greatest gift. This card reminds me of the sunsets that my mother enjoyed. It also reminds me of the balloons at her funeral (click colored words to read more).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grumpy Santa

We found a great read at the library this past week. It is titled Are You Grumpy, Santa? I love the moral at the end. So, so inspiring. It is written by Gregg & Evan Spiridellis.

We enjoy, Beware Of The Storybook Wolves, by Lauren Child. She is the inspiration behind Charlie and Lola. It is a series of DVDs from the BBC and can be seen on Disney Playhouse, though we didn't see them there, because we don't have cable. I stumbled onto them at our library.

So go check them out! You will thank me!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Beatitudes for Parents

Blessed are the parents who make their peace with spilled milk and with mud, for of such is the kingdom of childhood.

Blessed is the parent who engages not in the comparison of his child with others, for precious unto each is the rhythm of his own growth.

Blessed are the fathers and mothers who have learned laughter, for it is the music of the child's world.

Blessed and wise are those parents who understand the goodness of time, for they make it not a sword that kills growth but a shield to protect.

Blessed and mature are they who without anger can say no, for comforting to the child is the security of firm decisions.

Blessed is the gift of consistency, for it is heart's ease in childhood.

Blessed are they who accept the awkwardness of growth, for they are aware of the choice between marred furnishings and damaged personalities.

Blessed are the teachable, for knowledge brings understanding and understanding brings love.

Blessed are the men and women who, in the midst of the compromising mundane, give love, for they bestow the greatest of all gifts to each other, to their children and - in an ever-widening circle - to the world.

Written by Marion E. Kinneman

I had the privileged of knowing Mrs. Kinneman's daughter, Connie Roudebush. She was the kindest, sweetest person I met in Indianapolis. She told me about nature hikes, daffodil fields, and the symphony orchestra. She invited me into her home where she let my youngest play with her antique toys. She always greeted me with a hug. She encouraged me in my role as a mother. She gave me advice and friendship. She passed away in April. I was thrown into a pool of grief at her passing. I was heartbroken when I heard the news. I felt I had so much to learn from her still.

Her memorial service was beautiful and filled with inspiring music. It was music that she loved, "Water Music" by George Frideric Handel, "Arioso" by Johan Sebastian Bach, and "Sanctus" by Franz Schubert. Her granddaughter gave an incredible remembrance speech about her love of the outdoors, her family, and her community. She had an outgoing personality and made everyone feel like they were her best friend. This post is to honor her.

This quote is from the back of the memorial service program. "Like a stone dropped into a pool, the ripples of a loved one's life spread on and on to touch the lives of others. Your loved one is yours still to love and cherish and hold in your heart. For neither time, nor distance, nor death itself can diminish a love that endures forever."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A bite anyone?

If you have seen the Christmas Shrek movie then you will know how scared the gingerbread man is when he sees Santa Clause.
Gingerbread Men Cookies
3 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly pakced brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Refrigerate: 4 hours
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Makes 2 dozen
Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on lowspeed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 8 to 10 minutes until the edges of the cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks, cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Have you written a letter?

I have a little tin of coal in my sock drawer that I got from Santa one year. I tell my girls that Santa gave it to me when I was not being good. They love to open the can and unwrap the dark lumps and look at them. They certainly don't want to find any in their stockings on Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Our version of a gingerbread house! Gram crackers covered in delectable deliciousness. Come on over and grab a gumdrop, my lips are sealed, I won't tell a soul, besides isn't that what gingerbread houses are for?

Thursday, December 6, 2007


It snowed at our house and I have a picture to prove it.

This drawing was inspired by an accumulations of a couple inches of snow that fell on Tuesday night. The girls woke to find their world covered in a blanket of whispy snow. They both dressed in hats, boots, gloves, and coats to make snow angles! They were such cute angles too!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Feeling down and drab? Then just accessorize! Our house did. She got a sparkling new light fixture. It is a dusk to dawn light with motion sensor! Wow! Doesn't she look fabulous? To see the before fixture look here.

Happy Place

Art Card #46: Rejuvenation

What do you do? How do you do it, etc?

I get a haircut and it rejuvenates me. I usually get 3-5 inches cut off at a time so I can see a difference. Sitting in the salon, being pampered, without any kids is so nice.
(Supplies: acrylic paint, scrapbook walls paper, bohemia rub on, machine stitching)

Art Card #47: Your Happy Place

Do you have a special spot? Your place where you can go and be happy!

I love the mountains. I can always be happy hiking down a trail to a lake. I really enjoy mountain biking with DH. (Not in the snow though!) It has been such a long time since we have gone mountain biking. I loved the Fisher Creek loop we rode in Idaho. Long grueling push to the top and then a sweet downhill! Whheeeee!
(Supplies: magazine clipping from REI, acrylic paint, miss elizabeth sticker, bohemia rub on, machine stitching)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Backyard Part VI

Last summer we planted sunflower seeds in our backyard. To our suprise these finches came for the seeds as the flowers bloomed. It was the highlight of our day when they showed up. We had to carefully hide behind the curtains and peer out so we wouldn't scare them off. We had not planted the seeds with the intent of attracting and watching birds, but I think in the future we will.

To see more happenings from our backyard click here or here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Self Realisation

Art Card #45: What have you come to discover about yourself lately?

I can jog two miles. A couple years ago my friends invited me to get up early in the morning and go jogging! I laughed at the idea. Me, jog? I would rather sleep in as late as possible, thank you very much! She was a very convincing friend. She told me I would feel better about myself and have more energy. She told me that when my children greeted me in an awakened state it would be much more pleasant than when they shouted my name and told me they wanted breakfast while I was pulling the sheets up over my head. So I gave it a try. I needed to keep my body healthy and I was up for the challenge. At first I could barely go a quarter of a mile without stopping to walk a bit and catch my breath. My friends were so nice to walk with me and help me build up my endurance. I stuck with it and each month I tried to go a little bit farther. Two years later, I can run two miles without stopping! I'm sticking to this jogging habit.
Supplies: Magazine clipping from REI, stickers from Miss Elizabeth's, patterned papper from "The Stack"

Sunday, November 25, 2007


When we went to church on the 18th they asked the children what they were thankful for. Z stood up in front of the congregation and said, "I am thankful for the pretty leaves." We have made lots of piles for jumping in, have been on many walks collecting them in plastic shopping bags, and enjoyed seeing them change to brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds. On the surface her statement may appear simple, but in reality it means so much more. "Pretty leaves" gave us reasons to take walks together, stay outside just a little bit more, and giggle and laugh as we tried to escape from them when they tumbled down out of youthful hands.
We made the wreath for our door by collecting fall treasures. The girls and I enjoyed glancing under the pine boughs for the pine cones and scouting out interesting pieces of bark. We went to the dollar tree and bought a round wreath and then stuck them on with hot glue. Did I mention I like a good bargain? Total cost: $1.00.
I too, must share with you what I am grateful for, my DH who manages to impress me with his knowledge and skills, my daughters who bring joy and beauty to the everyday, and my family who can be found almost anywhere at anytime for anything. So I say, "Thank You." Thanks for letting me be me and listening to me when I complain, cry, and laugh. You mean everything to me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Winter Bear

Ever need a project that requires a white crayon? Find some dark colored construction paper and break out the white crayons. See what neat pictures you can make! Z made this in her special art class. (I wish I was clever enough to think of ideas like this.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Laugh Until You Cry

Here I am and it is the bewitching hour. It is a quarter to midnight and I am visiting my sister. We are eating chocolate, sitting on the couch, and watching DVR'ed versions of our favorite shows. That's when this witch gets me laughing. She has glowing red eyes and she holds a skull in her left hand. She is broken from all the love of young toddlers. Push her button on her tummy and her eyes light up, she waves her skull up and down, and tries to tip her head side to side, only she can't anymore, so it's more like a wobble.

I stayed up too late. That is the sure recipe for laughing until you cry about everything and nothing all at the same time. Then I have to clap my hand over my eyes and hold my face because it hurts.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Buried Treasure

Ever wanted to dig up buried treasure? Z did, but wasn't sure were any was located. She didn't let that stop her. She is a resourceful person, and anyway there was a shovel in the backyard. She packed a pencil pouch with her favorite treasures; a white feather, sticker earrings, bracelet, my little pony cards, and crumpled valentine. Then she placed them in a zip lock bag and got to work digging a hole. When she was satisfied with the depth and width, she placed the treasure inside, buried it with soft brown earth and waited two weeks. That's when I stumbled onto the scene. I saw her spreading out the contents of the pouch. She had a look of amazement on her face, as if she found an ancient artifact. She was admiring them like they are worth a million dollars. She explained to me that this treasure had been buried for two years. Sure enough, when I looked out in the backyard I saw the big hole next to the little shovel. Then she reminded me of the caution she gave me two weeks before, "That's why I told you not to dig there."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Watching for Us

My sister has a family journal that she sends to us about her activities and what her children are doing. I love to get it and read the funny things they say and do. She placed this poem in her journal in June 2005. I asked her if I could put it on my blog because I liked it so much. It lets my mind wander to the corner in my mind where I keep the curtain pulled on the memories of my mom. Sometimes I venture there, pull the curtain aside, and sit. Waves of love and loss flow over me like suns rays through the clouds. Then life quickly calls me back and I slip from my thoughts and quietly close the curtain again.

Watching for Us
She always leaned to watch for us,
Anxious if we were late,
In the winter by the window,
In summer by the gate;
And though we mocked her tenderly,
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe
Because she waited there.
Her thoughts were all so full of us--
She never could forget!
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.
Waiting till we come home to her,
Anxious if we are late--
Watching from Heaven's window,
Leaning from Heaven's gate.
-Margaret Widdemer

Monday, November 12, 2007


Convenience is found all around me. Take for example, the picture shown above. Notice the overturned bowl? That is the washing machine. The woman who uses it to do her wash has to squat next to it and turn the clothing through the soap and water by hand. She scrubs it on a board and wrings it dry. Notice the hangers dangling from the awning, that is her dryer. After her hours of scrubbing, twisting, twirling, and slapping she can finally hang them up to dry. She is lucky today because there is no rain. She is also lucky she has an awning in case there happened to be rain. I am soooooo glad I don't have to do my laundry by hauling jugs of water to a metal bowl. Just this weekend there were many spills at our house. Namely; throw-up, bowl movements that didn't make it to the toilet, cups that tipped over, I was doing a lot of laundry. I really enjoy my washer and dryer. I want to express my gratitude to my DH for buying me a washing machine and my sister for loaning me a dryer. My heart and hands say "Thank you!"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bread sticks

For homemade bread sticks that go well with spaghetti, chicken soup, or lasagna here is a recipe you can try.

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tbs yeast
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter

Dissolve yeast with sugar in warm water. Next add the salt and flour and mix for three minutes. Let the dough rise for ten minutes. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface into a rectangular shape. Place onto a creased cookie sheet and cut into sticks. Spread butter on top and let rise for five more minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes.

A yummy twist on this recipe:
Sprinkle a little bit of dry ranch dressing mix on the dough after it has been rolled into a rectangle. Place ham or turkey and veggies on one half. Fold remaining dough over the top and make into a pocket. Bake until brown.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Art Card #44: Home

Our current home is a two bedroom townhouse. I have a desk in my closet for setting up my creative corner since space is sparse. I sew and make cards in my closet. Sometimes other family members find it handy and ask to borrow it, sitting at the desk on a folding chair. Our house is not a big place but it's home. We are warm in winter, cool in summer, and have our own fenced in backyard. We have plenty of places to snuggle up with a good book and read. We have warm cookies from the oven. There are families that live in cardboard walled houses with corrugated tin roofs. I know I've been inside them. So compared to them I live in a Mansion!
supplies: Miss Elizabeth's stickers, acrylic paint, & photo caption stickers.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Art Card #43: sCaRy

What scares you?

Gecko's scare me! It took a lot of guts to admit here on-line to my fellow readers who may think I am strong and brave. They are not poisonous, don't have sharp teeth, or let off foul odors, so why am I so easily frightened by gecko's?
When I lived in Manila we had them in our house. Their skin is see-through. They hang out on the walls looking for insects to eat. It is kind of freaky to see their heart beating under their pale skin. I have a phobia that they will jump off the wall and onto me. Especially when I am most vulnerable; in the CR (comfort room). One time I was taking a shower and looked up to see one above me. I screamed. I don't like to be surprised like that while in the shower.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall Snaps

Crisp days, crunchy leaves, cooler nights, soccer games... leads my mind to wander to a time when I was 39 weeks pregnant with Z. I had some spotting, it was my first pregnancy, I called the hospital. They told me I better come in and get checked. I had lost my mucus plug. That is where the spotting came from. I was dilating and having contractions but they were sporadic and irregular. "Walk around the hospital and see if the contractions get stronger." So I walked. Forget that. Nothing changed. I wanted to go home. So they let me go.

We went to a soccer game. Then we went to the movie store and rented something, I don't remember what. Then we went to bed. I couldn't sleep. The contractions were getting stronger and I had to sit up with each one. They were about seven minutes apart. I would lay down and close my eyes. Then I would bolt upright with each contraction. When they were five minutes apart and I couldn't stand the intensity of the contractions I woke DH. At around 2 am I got admitted again to the hospital. The nurses said, "We have been waiting for you to come back." Let me tell you, they knew a lot more about what was going to happen to me than I did. I wondered how they knew I would be back that night? I was young, innocent, and didn't have a clue!

We went to an Indiana University vs. Penn State game over the weekend. The IU team won 1-0. They are the only undefeated team in their league. The girls collected fall treasures from the ground. That my mind to wander to this weeks activities:
Monday:Have someone read a story to you. Tell what you would do if you were in the story.
Tuesday: Name ten words that start with P.
Wednesday: Tell three safety tips for trick-or-treating on Halloween.
Thursday: Say the names of all the people in your family.
Friday: Draw a picture of yourself in a favorite costume.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Lulu has a very funny sense of humor. She has been long overshadowed by her older sister who seems to think it a crime if there is a moment of silence. Even with the stiff competition Lulu seems to know that she has to make every comment count. Her witty sense gets us all laughing, so hard sometimes, we get tears in our eyes.

Looking into my cereal bowl she noticed my chopped bananas sitting on my corn flakes and said, "Your banana is at the park in the leaf pile."

In the backseat of the car I heard, "Fishy Fishy in the brook Daddy caught him with a hook, Mommy fried him in a pan, and baby ate him like a baby... That's what it says in my fishy book."

"I wish our car would fly like an airplane."

Lulu brought me my bra held it up and requested, "I want you to put this on and see if you look like a mermaid."

Here is my favorite drawing from Z this week. A duck wearing a crown, necklace, and cape; taped onto the back, in matching purple with red hearts. I really wish I could show you the three dimensional view. Much cooler than this one sided scan. Look closely and you can see the wispy eyelashes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gratitude Week

#41 If you had a magic carpet RIGHT NOW... where would you ask it to go?

That all depends if I don't fall off on the way... especially since I will be flying over the ocean to Australia. When I was a little girl my grandfather went there on a trip and brought back a stuffed koala bear. We sat in the dark watching his slide show. I would love to visit someday. So I am dreaming I could have a magic carpet.

#42: A Grateful Week: Be more grateful this week for the little things.
I went to see my sister last week and she had a present wrapped in delicious paper with a huge bow. I opened it to find a willow tree statue. It was entitled "Chrysalis: Protect and cherish; give wings to fly." I am grateful she is my sister. What a special surprise.
I married someone with integrity. Working as a door to door sale's man one summer he told me of the selling gimmicks others where using to make sales. He refused to participate. My husband is someone who has that wonderful characteristic.
Exercise is important for a healthy heart. PBS is running a series about heart disease and it motivates me to get my daily exercise.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Collect as many different colored leaves as you can.

Tuesday: Finish this sentence: I like fall because...

Wednesday: Draw a picture with a pumpkin, a bat, and the moon in it.

Thursday: Say the sounds for letters A to M.

Friday: Dry out some pumpkin seeds. Glue seeds to paper to make a picture.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nostalgic Vegetable

If you grew up in my family than you realize the artichoke is a nostalgic vegetable. It was a rare treat for us when we sat down to dinner and had artichokes with... mayonnaise. Another reason I love the stuff! My mother would buy them for us whenever she found a good deal. It makes me long for her homemade meals served up with love.
Yesterday I found them on sale in a four-pack at the grocery store and I couldn't pass them up. Z was so excited when she sat down to dinner, "Yummy, artichokes, my favorite!" They are a perennial in the thistle group of the sunflower family. The part that we eat is actually the flower bud. Lots of people may be intimidated by this crazy looking veggie. They have to be cooked in boiling water for 20-45 minutes depending on the size. To eat them you pull off the petals, one at a time, dip the base of the petal in sauce (melted butter, mayonnaise, vinaigrette), and pull between your teeth to remove the soft, pulpy portion. Continue doing this until all the leaves are gone. Then you have the artichoke heart left. Scoop out the fuzzy center, cut into pieces, dip into sauce. Enjoy! So if you have trouble getting your little ones to eat vegetables, serve up some of these. They get to eat it with their hands.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Keep your pumpkins safe!

Be on the alert for the pumpkin eating dinosaur. We saw him gobbling up pumpkins like they were going out of style. If you live in the Indianapolis area and want to see him live, you can find him at Waterman's pumpkin patch. We rode on a hayride to the field where they grow the pumpkins. Z had a hard time deciding on the perfect one and changed her mind several times. First she found a big one and then she wanted a baby one. Lulu was satisfied by the first one she saw, scooped it up, and put it in her bag.

I love the colors in this photo. So earthy and warm, but don't be fooled, this is not the pumpkin Z ended up bringing home!

Monday, October 15, 2007


We wish you a happy fall. While on a walk the girls and I stopped under an acorn tree and collected a bunch of acorns. We tried to get the ones that had their hats on.

Here are this weeks activities:

Monday: Do something special for someone in your family.

Tuesday: List ten things in your bedroom

Wednesday: Using a string, measure around a pumpkin and then around your waist. Which is bigger?

Thursday:Have someone read a story to you. Predict how it will end before the last page.

Friday: Practice saying your address.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Art Card #40

Not Anymore:

I am not afraid to study, learn, and form my own opinion. "We can copy others, we can live to please others, or we can discover what is unique and precious to us and become that."

supplies: acrylic paint, flower stamp, silver embossing powder, rub ons- that says "The Joy of Discovery" from memory makers.
The quote is from the book, Psychology and Personal Growth by Nelson Goud and Abe Arkoff.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Art Card #39

Someone spesh! (Special that is)

My dear friend Carrie. She loves me unconditionally. She has always been there for me. So this card is in honor of her. I met her when I was a gangly teenager trying to figure life out. She accepted me for who I was and taught me that anything is possible. Even though we live far apart and I don't get to see her as often as I would like, I feel lucky to count her as my friend.

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Look at the pictures in a book before someone reads it to you.
Tuesday: Make up a story about a scary pumpkin patch.
Wednesday: If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
Thursday: Write a letter to a grandparent.
Friday: Recite the nursery rhyme "Little Miss Muffet." Would you have run away?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

More Manila!

I have been thinking about the Philippines since my top secret post and thought I would share a few fun pictures from those days ten years ago! Eeegad, has it been that long? Here is a picture of the Jeepneys. Need a lift? There are plenty to choose from.

Tagaytay Beach! Here I am at the beach where we built sandcastles and had a relaxing afternoon enjoying the sand between our toes and sound of the surf.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Collect leaves and other objects and play "Sink or Float?"
Tuesday: Help prepare dinner.
Wednesday: Draw a picture of yourself and something you hear.
Thursday: Sing a classic children's song, such as; "Twinkle, Twinkle" or "Are you Sleeping"
Friday: Play find the Teddy Bear. Have your child count to 10 and hide a teddy bear somewhere in the room. Then have them find it (with help as needed).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Top Secret information about Snappy!

What was I doing 10 Years ago?
I had just flown home from living half way around the world. I was returning from an extended stay in the exotic Philippines. I had been eating fresh pineapples, mangoes, and bananas, speaking Tagalog, and riding in colorful jeepneys. The Philippines is made up of over 7,100 islands, but only about 25 have towns. I lived on the big island of Luzon, mostly in the Manila area. The climate there is generally tropic and humid. The people are Malay descent. They are very welcoming and giving. Christmas is the most celebrated holiday, with decorating beginning in September. Have you started decorating yet? If not you are behind according to Philippine traditions. I mentioned riding around in a jeepney and feel I should elaborate a little more. They are a highly decorated type of mini-bus built on the frame of old U.S. military jeeps. They carry 10-20 passengers for a low fare. When you want to get off you just tap on the metal roof.

What was I doing 5 Years ago?
We had just moved to our 6th apartment and had only been married three years. My DH was starting his Masters Degree. We moved in close proximity to my Aunt and six of my cousins, three of whom had spouses. It was so fun to live close to family. We regularly got together for Sunday dinners, pic-nics, and holidays. It was always a full house when we got together with lots of fun. The best part was reliable, trustworthy, free babysitters.

What was I doing 1 Year ago?
Taking my girls to the Anderson Apple Orchard where we picked apples, drank fresh apple cider, played in the hay, and posed by the piles of pumpkins. Did I mention I love fall?

What was I doing Yesterday?
Camping at Lieber State Recreation Area. We bought a six man tent. I get extremely claustrophobic in small spaces and have the hardest time sleeping in our two man tent. We ate hot dogs roasted over the fire, smores, and hot cocoa. I actually saw the stars and we had a full moon. Living in the city I rarely see any stars due to light pollution. The only drawback- the trip to the bathroom was a little far for a potty training toddler. On the bright side-It was a flush toilet.

Five snacks I enjoy.
Chocolate chip cookies and milk.
Chips and Salsa with cream cheese.
Fresh pineapple.
Apple slices and cheese.
Lays potato chips.

Five things I would do if I had $100 Million.
Buy a house.
Travel a lot.
Make a donation to PBS.
Buy a grand piano.
Set aside money for my children's education.

Five places I would love to run away to.

Five t.v. shows that I like.
Wide Angle
The Amazing Race

Five things I hate doing.
Cleaning the bathtub
Giving haircuts
Wiping down the stove top
Getting fines at the library
Untangling hair from the vacuum cleaner

Five biggest Joys of the Moment.
Giggles from Lulu
Art drawn by Z
Weekends we go camping
Finding a bargain
Meeting new friends

Singin' in the rain!

What a glorious feeling!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Art Card #38

I wonder...

Where will we live next year?
I also wonder, what kind of pet will we get when we are done living in a small apartment?
My girls can't wait to get a small dog?
Does anyone have any good suggestions?
We can't wait to find out the answers to these questions.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll

Serves: 12

2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2/3 cup sugar, PLUS 1 tsp sugar
1 cup warmed milk
2/3 cup butter
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7 cups flour, or more if needed

1 cup melted butter, divided
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
3 tbs cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 cup raisins, optional

Creamy Glaze:
2/3 cup melted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
6 tbs hot water, more as needed

In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5-10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let raise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1-1 1/2 hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 min. Roll out on floured surface into a 15x20" rectangle.

Spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 1 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins, if desired. Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices. Coat bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan and a 8 inch square pan with remaining melted butter, then sprinkle with remaining sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 min. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.

Creamy Glaze: Meanwhile, in med. bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water 1 tbs at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Name five people in your family.
Tuesday: Gather ten leaves from the ground. Group them by color or shape.
Wednesday: Write your first name. (If your child is too young to write, print the letters of their name on paper and say each letter as you write it.) Make a name sign for their room and let them decorate it with stickers and drawings.
Thursday: Play follow the leader.
Friday: Count all the cans of food in your cupboard.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Art Card #37

Draw something!

Can you tell what's on my mind? We bought some washable markers last night and the girls and I stayed up late coloring. My cousin visited us over the weekend, he was in town on a business trip. It was very nice to have company. When he left he deposited a box of specialty chocolates as a thank you gift. Sweet!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Two in One

Today within a couple hours of each other I witnessed two accidents. I wouldn't have believed it myself but I saw it first hand. A dare devil tried to cross the ditch on his four wheeler and did a head dive straight down instead. He broke his collar bone and shoulder.
The second accident involved a school bus and a blue truck towing a white car. The man was trying to get up the hill while towing the car and didn't have enough gusto. Hence the school bus couldn't stop in time. It wasn't just any school bus either. It was the bus for special needs

children. I heard that there were no children on it at the time of the accident. I hope that is true.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Drape a large blanket or tablecloth over the end of a table. Secure it in place so that it becomes a fort. Invite your stuffed animals to play.
Tuesday: Talk about two things that happen everyday. Examples; getting dressed, eating lunch.
Wednesday: Make a pattern using leaves.
Thursday: Play "Ring around the Rosies."
Friday: Hop, skip, kneel, jog, and twist ten times each.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Inquisitive Probing

I glimpse into the mind of Z.
Coming home from school, this picture emerged from her backpack to show a tear-stained frowny face. "I was sad when I got lost." Yes, I have to admit I lost Z when she was four, in the children's museum, on an extremely crowded day. I tried to block all memories of that day from my mind, because I was embarrassed to admit I did such a thing. Then I met a friend who joked, "We went to the children's museum and I only lost our four year old twice." I love friends who can laugh in the face of danger, and turn the negative into something positive. Her tone was fun and her demeanor was non-judgemental. She helped me see that both my daughter and I learned an important lesson that day. Z knows why I tell her to stay close and I try to be less judgemental and more understanding.

*Q: "How do you know how to drive Daddy?"

*Q: "What things can you die from?"

*Q: "What does the box look like inside when you die?" (referring to the coffin)

*Q: "Do we live in a neighborhood?"

*"My tooth is wobbly, it is like a penguin running."

*Loud wailing from upstairs followed by Z's voice, "Lu Lu you have your nose- it's right there. I was just pretending."

*I asked Z to go back upstairs because she procured the wrong color of hair bow. Her response, "I can't go back up there my legs are exhausted."

*"I'm getting angry like a bull!"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Art Cards

I can't believe I got three weeks behind on these little cards.

#34: Funny- Ha Ha! What do you find funny? What makes you laugh?

My DH has the greatest sense of humor. He can always make me laugh. That's one thing I love about him. He has a friend that can't eat shrimp for religious reasons, but he can eat any other kind of fish. So my DH googled an image of a sucker fish and asked if he could eat that. His friend was rolling with laughter. I guess his friend could eat it if he wanted to.

#35: Strength

Recently, I started taking a strength training class. This class is awesome. I can feel a difference in my muscles. I am getting stronger. It didn't take much though because I have such wimpy arms. I really enjoy the endurance type exercise class verses the aerobic class. I also ran my first 5K on 9-11-07. (I had to walk a bit of it, but I made it.)

#36: Life is Beautiful

I love this prompt. Losing a loved one teaches the valuable lesson of the importance of every moment. Being more patient, kinder, gentler, enjoying my children as they gleefully dump puzzle pieces all over the floor. Watching a sunset, taking a walk in the woods, and slurping ice cream on the back step. I remind myself to enjoy these things and indeed; life is beautiful.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Five Activities For Young Children

Here are some ideas to do with young children. I will post five every Monday. I am posting this weeks list a little early. There is one activity for each day of the week. Feel free to modify any of the ideas to fit your child's age level.
Monday: Pretend you have a magic box. What is inside? How is it magic?
Tuesday: Leaf rubbings. Go on a walk and collect a variety of leaves. After your walk, place a paper over a leaf, and rub it with the flat side of a crayon.
Wednesday: Draw a picture of someone in your family. Name three things you like about them.
Thursday: Finish this sentence: One thing I want to learn....
Friday: Point to all the words that start with the letter B on a page in a book.

Leave a comment about your favorite activity from the week.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Here's the Cake as Promised

The sponge bob cake was my first attempt at cake decorating and took me three hours. The gumball cake was in honor of my fifteenth birthday! My outfit left me in giggle fits and I had to crop it out! You can make out the homemade bandanna scarf with beads. Gotta love those teenage years.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Three more accidents

I don't want you to think I am a morbid person who delights in the misfortunes of others. In fact, the reason I document these accidents is to hopefully make a change for the better. If I can show how many accidents have occurred, by documenting them, I feel I have a better chance of establishing my motives for requesting a reduction in the speed limit.

The accident pictured above happened on September 4th around seven p.m. The man being wheeled into the ambulance smashed his truck into a tree. I am not sure what caused him to swerve off the road.

On July 16th, the day I took my girls to the swimming pool, my neighbor reported that some cars hit each other while turning off the main road. While they were doing clean up, a little red firebird was turning left into the apartment complex. A dump truck driver was gawking at the first accident and smashed into the firebird pushing it down the road to the bridge mentioned in a previous post.
On August 2nd there was a accident involving a rear ending.
And so it goes... 40mph is too fast for this busy road.