Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Tea

Several weeks ago we had our annual "Christmas Tea". When I was younger, this was held in September and we brainstormed all the gifts we would make.

Now I think we do it more for tradition's sake rather than for advance brainstorming. (note cookies below are gluten-free!)

However, this event did involve a lot of brainstorming about new products, etc. Next year maybe we'll unveil them!

Laura was appropriately dressed for the occasion! She is too cute!

And now it's time for December to begin......

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Birds

I've made "a million" felted birds this fall to sell as Christmas ornaments.

They are so sweet, and I enjoy sewing them.

I'm so glad that I love sewing the products that I sell. I get so much joy from them and I think about the person that will end up with them and almost feel like I'm making them a present (except for the fact that they have to pay for it).

This plaid color is my favorite:

I spent about 13 hours in the car sewing while on our OK trip. Most sewing is done while killing two birds with one stone (schooling, driving, listening to something, visiting).

The snow has finally hit. I haven't felt the Christmas spirit yet, but snow falling outside my window and the vintage red wool sweater I'm wearing just might bring it on.

PS: Birds can be found for sale at the Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville. Or, you can special order them directly from me for $4.25/each.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rachel Turns 11

Rachel turned 11 last week. Her birthday nearly always falls the week of Thanksgiving which makes for busy times!!

I guess I've started a new tradition of making animals for the kids' birthdays. I always wait until the last day because I think they may have forgotten and then Michael, or the child, will remind me that they really need an animal tomorrow!!! (I was sewing one just hours before I left for NYC)

The mouse was very cute and now I want to make more...

Rachel enjoyed opening presents, which included several board games.

And then there was pumpkin cake for dessert.
She also had a party with friends from the neighborhood, breakfast out with Dad, celebrations at Thanksgiving, and breakfast, lunch and dinner of her choosing! I would say that is a great day!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Seen: On Thanksgiving

In the middle of a busy road on Thanksgiving, this was seen. I would love to know the story behind it. Was it someone trying to get rid of Great Aunt Ethel's vanilla mayonnaise cake, or was it an accidental loss that some poor child bemoaned?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving Day was a delightful day, a gift in itself. We began with brunch with friends, which was really fun!

In the afternoon we headed to Christina's and we all walked to Eagle Creek.

John and Laura got to ride.

The weather has been marvelous and the sun was out!

Craig and Emily -- I'm so behind in blogging that I haven't even mentioned that in October Emily moved to her very own apartment! She's lived with us for 4 1/2 years so it was sad to see her go. But, she has her degree in Occupational Therapy now and a good job at a hospital downtown so it was time to move on to the next step. We miss you Em!! I still think I'll hear the door open and Em come in.

John is too cute!

Mom got off work early, which was nice!!

It was very festive to see so many other family groups out walking!

Christina had the table set so beautifully.

We started with appetizers.

And then moved on to a menu featured in Country Living. It was delicious!!! My favorite was the cornbread stuffing, moister and more flavorful than I've ever had. (oh, and everything was gluten free!!)

Lots of candles!

The kids had their own table in the kitchen.

Here is my dinner plate:

And much later we had dessert!

Now I'm wishing we could have a few weeks until Christmas festivities hit, but I don't think that is possible.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

May your day be blessed with good food and fellowship and especially with hearts grateful to God for all He has given to us.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Thanksgiving Plan

Sitting here at 11 p.m. trying to get all my recipes organized for the Thanksgiving bake-a-thon tomorrow in my very own kitchen. My sister is hosting Thanksgiving (thank you Christina!) but I'm bringing desserts and appetizers. Here's the plan:

By the way, all recipes will be adapted to be gluten-free since 6 out of 13 people present at Thanksgiving are currently gluten-free. Pie crust will be made using this recipe -- my favorite one!


Pear Cranberry Pie I'm going to use the recipe for this crisp and modify it to go into a pie crust. Haven't decided on a streusel topping or pastry top.

Cranberry Blueberry Pie I love this pie and have made it for two Thanksgivings so far. It fits the bill for a berry pie and also makes things festive with the cranberries.

Southern Living's Chocolate Pecan Chess Pie. Oh, I do love Southern Living magazine for recipes, especially their November and December issues.

Southern Living's Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake. Can't decide about the topping -- I'm thinking no caramel sauce on top, but maybe I will put the candied pecans.


Something along the lines of these baked olives (I'll be adding some garlic).

Cranberry Ginger sauce on top of baked Brie.

Lovella (via Pinterest) pointed me to this perfect veggie tray!!! I can't wait to make it. You can find it here.

Planning to make this sweet potato cranberry streusel, Chicken and Ham Pie (reinvented with turkey), for other meals this holiday.

I hope you are having fun in the kitchen!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mourning the Loss of a Friend

Our dear friend Margie passed away this week. She is someone who had a large influence on my young adult life, and I will treasure the memories I have of her.

My best memories are from the last year that I worked for her husband as a secretary. Every afternoon Margie would make us tea and we would stop our work and sit and chat for awhile. Margie would tell me stories of her childhood or of their years spent in Scotland.

This picture is from Margie's birthday back in June. I'm glad my children got to know her and will have their own memories. Although we will miss Margie, we are happy that she is now in heaven enjoying full health in God's presence.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of the giveaway, according to the Random Number Generator, is #14 -- Monica!!!!
Thanks everyone for all your comments, which were fun to read! I think stuffing has always been my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. I love all the variations that can be made -- here is one of my recent favorites.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Giveaway

It's been awhile since I've done a giveaway and I thought I would remedy that with this cookbook from Williams-Sonoma. You can read details about the book here on Amazon.

Just leave a comment telling me your favorite Thanksgiving food and I will pick a winner sometime after 5 p.m. on Wednesday. I am happy to ship the book to the United States and Canada.

In my kitchen I've been busy making lots of gluten-free things for Andrew. I now make his bread, and I'm just starting research on what to do about Christmas cookies. Saturday, while baking my order of biscotti, I found I could make a gallon of yogurt and clean the kitchen at the same time! Anything I can do to multi-task helps in the long run.

Tonight we'll be enjoying the last half of a large pot of ham and split pea soup. The recipe was so simple and I will definitely have to share it sometime. And, I'm a guest blogger over at Simple Frugal Living today and you will find my very favorite dinner recipe posted there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

At the Close of the Week

This tree in our front yard has been mesmerizing me all week! We came back from Oklahoma to find it transformed into this glowing ruby. It's so stark a color that I can't stop looking at it. My new favorite color is gray, but gray combined with either the red of this tree, or the orange of the other trees nearby, or the baby pinks I'm knitting with.

I can't remember if I posted these flowers or not.....I've just cut out 3 dozen more for an order that is due by the end of the month. I must make another trip to Salvation Army soon!!!! I need more sweaters!!! And, I've been sewing up a flock of birds which I can't wait to show you....

This is what I need to stop and do: tea. Life is so busy during the week and Saturday is the day to catch up on housework and plan for the schoolweek ahead. No time for relaxing!

Veteran's Day this past week. I feel as though I will never be able to fully appreciate the depth of sacrifice our soldiers have made for us, past and present.

Pumpkin hat just off the needles. Three of my cousins have had babies this fall. Busy time for the needles.

And now I must get to work on the rest of the to-do list (can't seem to get rid of this underline): cooking, dinner, menu planning, birthday present ordering, hair cutting, cleaning, ironing, typing, Sunday school planning, letter writing, exercising. Yup, I'm thinking this will not all get done today.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Trip to Oklahoma

On Monday, October 31st, we headed to Oklahoma to visit Michael's parents. We left at 4:20 a.m. and arrived in Ponca City a little after 7 p.m., stopping in Missouri to tour the Laura Ingalls Wilder home where the Little House on the Prairie books were written. We all enjoyed the tour very much, and I bought postcards to show you the indoors, but have sadly misplaced them.

Here is a picture of Michael's parents' home. They have had a lot of work done on their property and it was in tip-top condition. The kids had a blast playing outside.

And here are the kids with Grandpa and Grandma. This was Laura's first chance to meet Grandpa.

I have more to tell you about our trip on another day......

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Difference a Year Can Make

Today we are remembering last November 8th when Laura was in surgery at this very minute. What a winter it was and how thankful we are that Laura has grown and developed and done so well!!!!

It's too bad she's not smiling in the recent picture, but she was more anxious about getting a few more chocolate chips. :)

We've just returned from a week's visit to the Wild West (Oklahoma). We have lots of pictures and stories about everything from scorpions to Indian fry bread. Right now I have to catch up on housework, laundry and school!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Being a Toddler

Sometimes I feel like I'm a grandmother doting on her first grandchild. Everything Laura does is so cute and we can't stop watching her.

One of Laura's latest words is "ball". She loves to say it.

And what kid wouldn't love to play with a million colored balls tossed on the floor

Something to keep her entertained for a few minutes.....

Life at 18 months is very fun indeed!

Daily we thank God for Laura's progress. Just a year ago we were anticipating surgery....