Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Saturday BLAH-G Post

Today seems a rather "Blah" day. Funny, because I have several pretty pictures to show for the day. I think after a week of sick little ones and now a sick husband, I'm just kind of blah myself. :)

I wanted so badly to re-work my mantle for February -- something very Valentine's Day-ish. It takes so much effort to figure something out -- usually 15-20+ tries and tinkerings. I'm glad I don't have to do this everyday! I'm happy with the pink effect.

I let Rachel bake something this afternoon to add variety into the children's day. She chose a lemon swiss roll -- why not? Unfortunately, our pan goes cockeyed in the heat and I forgot that. Thus we ended up with a triangle shape to roll up. The children enjoyed themselves nonetheless.

Rach even had to make the lemon filling:

The four children sat down together for a tea party:

It did get a little wild, but at least they were having fun.

In my spare time I'm putting as much effort as possible into sewing a collection of spring purses.

It's been lots of fun, and I hope they will be ready to show (and sell) soon! I love all the flowers!

Well, church has had to be cancelled for tomorrow as Michael will not be well enough to preach. Some of the children are still contagious, so I think we'll just stay put and listen to a service online, as I did when I was ill. Monday will be a new week, a new day, and maybe a fresh, clean start. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We woke up to this: 9+ inches of snow!!!! Yay!!! This is a rare treat for us here in Indiana.

You can see how much accumulated on the table overnight:

Several of our neighbors seemed to spend the entire day outside, shoveling, snow-blowing, talking, etc. I think certain of them just love a chance to chat, visit, and use their equipment.
I decided we needed a school "snow day" to enjoy the snow and take things a little easy after several of the kids were sick.
A good hour or more of play in the snow was first on the list, for those who felt up to it. Next came some drawing:

We also had cutting and pasting magazine pictures into journals and an afternoon in mommy's craft closet with sewing machines, needles, material and felt. Books on weather were also a priority.

Emily, stuck home from work, decided to do some long-anticipated baking:

We were all happy to taste her work at teatime:

The children are outside once again and I've got another pot of soup (chicken-noodle) boiling on the stove.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I figured it was about time I organized my craft closet again as I'm feeling the urge to make a number of things.

Although this picture is dark, perhaps you can see the misshapen shelves and piles of fabric:

Everything came off the shelves and out of boxes. Fabrics for current project ideas were selected and the rest organized.

It feels much better to know, and see, what I have:

Here's the baby cardigan I finished at Knit Night. I'm in love with the fabric behind it -- it is a Laura Ashley skirt I found at Goodwill. Since it is a size 4 there is no feasible way I would ever, ever wear it, but I had to buy it for the fabric. Current thought has it going as a cushion for my chair and a spring purse.

Now, doesn't that look better!

Now that the organizing is done, I need to get back to work on the projects themselves.
Well, the snow is finally falling and some of the children are outside enjoying it! I've got soup to tend to on the burner and a little baby who is feeling unwell. Poor thing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Saturday Post

A few hodge-podge photos from the week.

My paperwhites are in full bloom. Their fragrance wafts through the house and makes the air smell like spring:

Rachel and I went to Rosebuds this week. The theme was "One-Stroke Painting."

And for the snack the girls got to "paint" their own sugar cookies:

My table has been lifting my spirits all week. It's covered in a Goodwill find -- a beautiful, flowery, yellow tablecloth, and the flowers mom brought me two weeks ago:

Tea with Janet on Monday was a special highlight:

And now I'm off to finish a few chores and try to get things ready for the Lord's Day. Have a good weekend!


This past week I hosted my first "Knit Night" here at the house:

It was lots of fun, and we had two who learned to knit! Hopefully we'll have another time next month -- February 18 (for those of you in the area).

In the mean time the older 3 children have been busy with their own knitting. Auntie C taught James how to finger knit:

Rachel is hard at work on a long scarf:

And Andrew makes whatever strikes his fancy:

I managed to finish the latest baby cardigan on our Knit Night and so now need to choose between a pair of socks, a much-needed hat, or perhaps something else. We'll see.....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inspiring Cookbooks

Today I'm participating in Keeping Creative Kitchens over at Reflective Ponderings.

I thought I would share a few inspiring cookbooks I have on loan right now. Often just looking through a good cookbook will inspire me to try something new, try an old recipe again, or just excite me to get in the kitchen and cook.

The Spice Bible by Jane Lawson is a beautiful dictionary of spices, their uses, and recipes to make. The book is full of gorgeous photos and with its 450 pages, there is plenty to choose from. Not all the recipes are practical for everyday, but it would be fun to choose something to make for a special occassion, or to try out a new spice:

Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver is Jamie's latest cookbook. Divided by seasons, this book focuses on Jamie's garden and the surrounding countryside and what it has to offer. It's filled with lots of beautiful photos and the page decorations remind me of the style of James Beard's Fireside Cookbook. Again, I don't think it's a very practical book, but I think it is inspiring and the pictures definately make you want to cook up a plate full of delectable vegetables.

(I have to laugh at the pictures and talk of "Jamie's Garden" all throughout -- this guy definately has 1 or more full-time gardeners helping him out!)

The Minimalist Cooks Dinner by Mark Bittman is a random book I found at the library. While it is not filled with inspiring pictures, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this man cooks the way I do -- basic ingredients and simple ideas. Most of his recipes seem to contain about 5-7 ingredients and he then gives ideas on how to change or jazz up the recipe. I found a number of recipes to try:
In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley is a book I found recommended in a magazine. I thought I might read some of the comprehensive instructions in the beginning of the book about baking ingredients and how they all work. Then, there are so many recipes to look through in this 650+ page book:

Quick & Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott looks so good! The beautiful pictures are tempting me to try a bunch of the recipes. And, armed with my jar of Thai Red Curry Paste that is currently in my fridge, I think I'll be off to a good start.

Inspired by these books, and a few magazines, I was feeling the urge to cook some "weird" food. I knew it would be just the kind of meal to share with Uncle Bill. He was happy to oblige.
So, last night we enjoyed Chestnut Soup (made with a tin of my chestnut puree imported by friends from England):

and Black Bean Burgers complete with buns, lettuce, tomato, cheese and the essential horseradish cream. This was accompanied by oven chips and carrot salad. The entire meal was terrific! Definately worth the effort. And, be surprised, very surprised -- my kids ate this food! I didn't try the soup on them (which was very good), but, they ate the bean burgers, and the carrot salad (even David was asking for more)! Yay for weird food!

Emily made the recipe for Butterscotch Pudding in the front cover of February's Gourmet and she mixed it with whipped cream to create a kind of mousse. Very good!

And now, a recipe to share: Roasted Squash and Sausage Pasta:

Happy Cooking to all of you!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration

How can I not blog about today's events! I hadn't planned to blog about the inauguration, but sitting in front of the television, it suddenly became non-optional.

Yes, that's a real television in our front room. A friend loaned us one so we could watch this historic event. Here we are:

I have fond memories of watching inaugurations as a child, and I wanted my children to have that same connection with their country: to see the drama and protocol an event like this exudes, to put faces with names they hear talked about during the week, and to begin to get an understanding of our political process.

No, I didn't vote for Obama, but I still share the excitement of the rest of the nation in having a black man in the White House! How incredible. (And I think his family is so cute :) ) I sincerely hope that Obama will do a good job and I pray that the issues I disagree with him on will not become as big of a problem as I worry they could.

So back to the pageantry. This is our equivalent of British Royalty and something like the Queen opening Parliament! We even had a few hats on the screen today (did you see George Bush Sr.'s massive fur hat, and the fancy hat the famous singer was wearing?).

I think the inauguration day is a day to be proud to be American. It's a day to soberly think about the ways we need to change and to pray for our country that she would continue to be a nation that stands for truth, freedom, liberty, and life.

May God bless America!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Out for a Walk

Since our weather has "warmed up" I thought it would be our chance to take a nice, winter walk:

And see what our flora and fauna were looking like with their winter decorations:

Michael suggested it would make a good family outing:

There's nothing like getting out into nature. It always refreshes me and aids in washing away those things that weigh on my mind and heart.

The kids enjoyed themselves, mostly, until the very end when the wind got cold.

At that point it was time to hightail it toward home and get out the hot chocolate:

I think we're good on walks for a bit longer now, but it was worth braving the cold!