Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

This is just a picture from the Scout Christmas Party that I should have posted earlier...

We had a decorate the 'tree' relay - the first team to plug in their tree won - Guess who that was...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Friend Buck

We've always had a small herd of deer in our backyard - aka the wide open space North and East of our house...

We always assumed there was a Buck to go with the 30 or so does - but we had never seen him...

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Big Read Meme

The Big Read is an National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.) I've read 54 of them...

*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Underline the books we LOVE - can you tell I love love love Dickens...

Share this list in your blog, too, if you like.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas in French
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - in French
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery in French
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Ronald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo in French

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yellow Frame

One of our parishoners gave us this charming hand-stitched picture - with a note that said we could bring it back and they would change the color of the frame if we didn't like it - like I would ever do that...

Anyway - it matched our yellow bathroom walls perfectly and it was just what the little room needed...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Raw Cookies

I followed a link to a Raw Oatmeal Raisin cookie and then I couldn't find it again to share it with you...

...but thanks to the wonders of the internet search engine I found it at The Raw Dessert - I know there's no oatmeal in them - they're really good 'though - and I think I might add some raw oats the next time I make them...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Makin' Merry

We've been making very merry this Christmas... There's been Gingerbread baking... Making new tracks in the snow... Building forts...

...and then zipping down the hill on the new sled Santa brought...
Staying outside until dark and our eyelashes were frozen... ...then coming in and having cocoa and warming up - that's Jack the 'cat-dog' perched on the arm of the sofa...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Program

The annual Children's Christmas Program...

...was adorable as always...

The Man-Cub was Joseph...

...and the finale - was 'Shalom'...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mom of the Year

Apparently - that would be me...

After the party - when I was clearing things away - the Man-Cub's class presented me with this poster/certificate - the class had made and signed it for me - I was touched - and his teacher said she loved it when they came up with things like this all on their own...

5th Grade Party

We had the 5th Grade Christmas Party Friday - I'm wondering if I'll be helping with a party or not next year - they are getting so grown up - you know they eventually outgrow school parties like this...

The Man-Cub had made all of his teachers an ornament - and he had a lot of fun delivering them during the party...

We had brownies...

and Punch in a pretty punch bowl of course - it is a party after all...

The Man-Cub and a friend got to serve the brownies...

Then there was game time - and everyone moved from group to group playing games - this is a game of 'Spoons' - only played with clothespins because we didn't have any spoons - haha...

Teacher Gifts

The Man-Cub made ornaments for all his teachers this year. We had a little party with his class - I took punch - in a fancy punch bowl and Christmas brownies - it was a lot of fun...

The Man-Cub drew pictures with permanent markers on acetate sheets (the kind you use for an overhead projector).

Then he cut a circle and curled it up and put it inside a clear glass ball.

That was the most fun part he said.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The Man-Cub made a few little star ornaments and bookmarks to tuck into each family gift as well...

The bookmarkers were fun and easy to make - you just rub a crayon over the raised plastic image - then hole punch and tie on some ribbon - and the ornaments were a kit project from Stuff Mart - really simple - just count and string some beads on a wire and bend appropriately into a star shape...

Christmas Goodies

Well the Christmas goodies should have been opened at the ancestral home by now - so here's a little peak at some of the goodies each family received...

This could be like a matching game - match the theme to the family...

Christmas Craft

The Man-Cub insisted on getting these two little pilot figurines for Grandma and Frank...

But you can see that their hair color is not quite right - and the Man-Cub is quite the stickler for proper costuming - the hair simply has to match the recipient...

So Grandma Pilot got a coat of brown followed by a coat of silver grey and Frank Pilot got a coat of brown followed by yellow - and according to the Man-Cub they match perfectly now...

Karen's Gift

Karen's pressies came in the mail yesterday...

...such a wonderful basket of goodies...

I love it all of course!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fruit Bowls

We got this rather interesting looking box in the mail over the weekend...
...we opened up to reveal...

...a plethora of fruit...

...we love it all - thanks baby bro' - the Man-Cub has 'sucked' on an orange every evening since we got the box - do you remember doing that as a kid?


Your Christmas presents may be late - there's an elf strike you know...

This is a watercolor the Man-Cub did - click on the image and you can even make out Santa and his sleigh in front of the moon...

I absolutely love the grumpy face of the little elf - no idea where the idea came from or the image in his head for the grumpy little elf...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Red Bird

My final Giveaway Day prize came in the mail yesterday...

It's a lovely Red Bird from Christie at And Sew it Begins...

Can you see it's tiny little feet - and it smells wonderful!

It's beautiful on the tree and we love it!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Random Stripes

I organize my stash by color (doesn't everyone) - So I have a mini bin of baby colors...

The Man-Cub's Tae Kwon Do instructors (a husband/wife team) are expecting their first baby in February. I'm sure they're going to get lots of baby themed Christmas gifts - so here's another one...

The Random Striped Baby Blanket

For a Crib-size blanket:
Cast on 100 stitches on size 10 needles and work in stockinette stitch as follows - joining each new color at the end of the row and weaving in threads as you go along:
White - 8 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 10 rows
Green - 2 rows
White - 5 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Blue - 2 rows
White - 3 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Purple - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 5 rows
Pink - 2 rows
White - 3 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 5 rows
Green - 2 rows
White - 9 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 11 rows
Blue - 2 rows
White - 5 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Purple - 2 rows
White - 3 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 5 rows
Pink - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Green - 2 rows
White - 9 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Blue - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 3 rows
Purple - 2 rows
White - 7 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 5 rows
Green - 2 rows
White - 5 rows
Yellow - 2 rows
White - 9 rows
Cast off in Stockinette Stitch. Work a border in yellow by single crocheting around the blanket with a size H crochet hook. You could do the border in another color if you knew the gender of the baby.

The finished blanket...

Mama-to-be with her blanket - she liked it so much she cried...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Tree Napkins

Another package came in the mail yesterday - I love when that happens...

...this one has a lovely fabric gift bag...

...holding the cutest Christmas Tree Napkins you've ever seen!

Thanks to Sandy at Quilting Nanny

Tae Kwon Do Christmas Party

We had the annual Tae Kwon Do Christmas Party and Potluck last night...

The lower belts had a test and the Man-Cub got to serve as one of the 'obstacles' to a board break - he had to lay on the floor and the orange belt has to jump over him to break his board. He did a super job as an obstacle and only winced when someone landed on him...

Then we had the potluck - I took a broccoli salad and corn pudding - thanks to Karen for the recipe...

Then there is always a wild game of tag - that's the Man-Cub in the center yelling like a Banshee...

Thursday, December 18, 2008


The snowflakes that I won on Giveaway Day from Suzie Button Creations arrived in the mail yesterday - I just love little packages in the mail...

aren't they gorgeous... you can see by 4:00 PM we have almost no light...

...I love these hanging in my kitchen window...