Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy Jar

Last year we made a fun list of things twelve things we wanted to do in 2013 and I'm happy to say we accomplished them. My favorite was the month we tried a new recipe every day. I enjoyed it so much I think I'll be bringing it back for a month in 2014.
In addition to having our family list of fun goals we have for the new year we will also be doing Happy Jars.
Rosebud made these as Christmas gifts with instructions to write happy things on little pieces of paper and dropping them into the jar throughout the next year. At the end of the year we get to read about what a great year 2014 has been.
I'm looking forward to this sweet little project.

Friday, December 27, 2013


I hope you all had a very nice Christmas!
We all enjoyed our day to the fullest.
I finally gave up trying to get the perfect picture of our children. Buddy thought it was a great time to play peek-a-boo once again.

Our homemade Christmas gifts were enjoyed by all. One of my favorites was the cookbook Sailor made for Rosebud. The recipes were his own foodie inventions, but what made me love it even more were the little descriptions he added about each recipe.
The fine print under the Spicy Potatoes recipe says: This recipe is not spicy, we apologize for the title.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you believe in miracles?

Yes, I do believe in miracles.
2. What's a recent fad you admit to trying?

I can't think of any fad that I'm trying. I'm more the kind of person that allows fads to come and go while I stay comfortably, myself.

3. Peppermint-are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite food or beverage containing peppermint?

I really like peppermint. My favorite food containing peppermint is Peppermint patties. Not the York brand though. There is another brand at our local candyland that I like ever so much better.

4. Break the ice, on thin ice, as cold as ice (emotionally, not literally)...which phrase have you run into most recently? Explain.

Probably break the ice. Having been meeting new people breaking the ice seems to be the best way to make new friends.
5. Have you ever broken or spilled something in someone else's home? Still friends?

When I was six I accidently broke my Aunt Vernie's treasured candy bowl. We both cried, but remained friends. My parents gave her a new one a few weeks later as a Christmas gift.

6.  'Tis the week before Christmas...are you feeling more like Buddy the Elf or the Grinch before his heart grew?

Buddy the Elf. Final preparations have already been made. The house feels as if it were bursting at the seams trying to contain all the secrets.

7. Share a favorite quote relating to Christmas.

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

8.  Insert your own random thought here

So excited that one of my brothers is coming to visit this weekend!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Beginning to Look....

... a lot like Christmas!

I think I may have mentioned before how this year we're having a homemade Christmas. So far we have been having a lot of fun and by tonight I think we'll be done with our preparations, a full week ahead of time. Yay!

Rosebud made a set of potholders for each of the Grandmother's.

Sunbeam created a yarn doll.

Buddy loved helping shell peanuts to make peanut clusters.

Even a power outage didn't cloud our Christmas-y spirit, thanks to the Glo-lite candles a friend introduced to me.

And with it snowing beautifully outside right now I think I'll relax, prop up my feet, and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so please share.

Nothing special at our house. I found so many fun Advent ideas on Pinterest, but that is the closest I got to doing anything for it. Maybe next year.

 2. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...and of course you recall, the most famous reindeer of all...so, which reindeer name best describes you this week?

Dasher, seems I'm constantly dashing somewhere. I keep hoping things will slow down a little, but seems there's always something that needs attention somewhere.

 3. What's worse-too quiet or too loud? Which have you had more of lately?

I don't like noise, so I'm going with too loud. Too quiet can be a bad thing too, especially involving a toddler. Recently when I realized things were too quiet and went to investigate Buddy had created a cloud of baby powder. It covered every single surface in the living room and he looked like a combination between some kind of tiny old person and a sad snowman. The mess he created was far from fun to clean up.

 4. This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens-thanks Zo!

 When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they've committed to do?  If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through?

I would rather do the things assigned to me than take charge, and if a somewhat "controlling" person thinks they have to have their fingers in everything it doesn't bother me too much to let them take over even if I would have been perfectly capable of doing an equally good or some cases better job at it.

5. What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?
Most dreaded task is getting Christmas cards out in time. I used to write a handwritten letter for each of them, each one different, but as our list of friends has grown I simply can't keep up with that tradition. A little note scribbled inside cards is about as far as I get except for my parents.

My most looked forward to tradition is a tie between putting up our tree and shopping for Christmas breakfast.

 6. Facebook has released its list of the 'most talked about' topics of 2013. Pope Francis took the number one spot.  Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about topic in 2013? (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)

Each of those topics hardly got any attention from us. The most talked about topic in our house is probably school.

 7. What's something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury?

Paper towels.  I was sixteen before I was introduced to that luxury, but it has become a necessity for our family.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This year instead of focusing on gifts we are having a more food related Christmas, similar to what we had while growing up Amish where food and fellowship was always more important than gifts. Rosebud and I consulted Pinterest and added quite a few treats to our list of things we hoped to create.

So far we have made:
  • Eight batches of rice krispie treats
  • Chocolate truffles
  • Party mix
  • Butterfingers
  • Bounty Bars
  • Oreo Krispie treats
  • Raisin clusters
  • Pomegranate clusters
  • Pretzel s'mores
  • Chocolate coated pretzels
  • Fruitcakes
  • Frozen chocolate coated banana slices (so good)
  • Kiwi candy
  • Rolo pretzel bites
  • Ritzy chocolate caramel bites
We are a little over half way done. Next up is homemade Three Musketeers and popcorn balls and some more salty snacks. I'm thinking we'll get our entire list complete. So much fun!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fruitcake Day

After spending 45 days working on my fruitcakes the day finally arrived when I was supposed to bake them.

You would think after waiting that long on a fruitcake I would have learned the art of patience, but apparently not.
The cake on the left I inverted almost immediately after removing it from the oven and the poor thing broke into pieces, the children cheered, because that meant they would be getting to eat it much sooner.
Cake two cooled in the pan before I tried removing it and it turned out beautiful. Two down and one to go and my fruitcakes will be done until next year when I start the process all over.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens?

I don't take selfies, since I don't ever enjoy being in front of the camera taking a selfie would practically be self inflicted torture.

 2. Will you send out Christmas cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind?

I will be sending out some Christmas cards this year. I really should get started on them in hopes I'll get them sent in time to arrive before Christmas.

 3. Do you trust easily?

I do trust easily. Though not quite as much as I used to years ago.

 4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent?

Since I don't have a sense of smell I can't tell which would be my favorite scent. According to taste I would go with vanilla.

 5. Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday? Was that by choice or necessity?

Listening, definitely listening. The children always have way more to say than I do. One interesting thing I listened to was all about how cashews grow.

 6. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Sorry if it's back there now :  )

"Starry Night" a song the girls have to sing at our church's Christmas pageant and therefore sing almost non-stop around the house.

 7. Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why?

Just the thought of being an explorer, especially if it required walking and camping and all the other outdoorsy stuff makes me weary. If I had to choose one it would probably be Lewis and Clark.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Every week I assign each of the children a book they are supposed to read. For a family a bookworms that is something they enjoy. This week's selection includes, Kazan, the Wolf Dog,  Caddie Woodlawn, and On the Banks of Plum Creek. I love seeing them enjoying books I loved as a child.