Wednesday, December 31, 2008
We try to have the kids write their thank you cards within a day or so of receiving a gift. Every day after Christmas they talked about writing them and I hadn't made the thank you cards yet. Of course, I over did Christmas Eve day with all of the baking and wrapping and it took several days of taking it easy for my sciatica to settle down. My son took matters into his own hands. I told of a card I saw on a blog and came up with one version that was close and good but not exactly what I saw. He went back and made the changes and got it looking quite good. He made up enough that everyone could write their thank you notes (even me). Such a good kid.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I still have some sciatica issues, still dealing with having a stillborn baby . . . I have kept busy with family, church and PTA/school happenings. Today I told my husband that I will stamp something before I go to bed. It has been so long since I created anything. He said, "Good for you!" and rolled over and went back to sleep. As I sit here, I wonder how long I'll be able to. I over did it yesterday making fudge, peanut brittle, pizzelles and 4 types of cookies. I also spent a couple of hours wrapping presents. Still not up to a day like that but I did it. We need to deliver goodies tonight. Still, even with the pain, it feels good to be doing what I normally do.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas!
From the author's site:
Nothing ever goes right for Eloise. The day she wears her new suede boots, it rains. When the subway stops short, she's the one thrown into some stranger's lap. And she's had her share of misfortune in the way of love. So, after deciding that romantic heroes must be a thing of the past, Eloise is ready for a fresh start.
Setting off for England, Eloise is determined to finish her dissertation on two spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. But what she discovers is something historians have missed: the secret history of the Pink Carnation-the most elusive spy of all time. As she works to unmask this obscure spy, Eloise has more and more questions. Like, how did the Pink Carnation save England from Napoleon? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly escape her bad luck and find a living, breathing hero of her own?
I had read this book previously but couldn't remember too much about the book and I pulled it off the shelf again for a quick read. The book is well written and the characters are well-formed. I recall when I picked up this book that it was recommended by friends and I was told that it was historical fiction. There is very little history in this book and a lot more romance/thoughts of romance. It is definitely Chick-lit but rather enjoyable as you read of how Amy thinks she has successfully gotten information only to find she has been baited. The number of times I've thought I've done smashingly to be dashed in the end, very entertaining. The romance part is rather entertaining too. How hilarious when Richard is jealous of himself and yet can't tell Amy the truth. There are a couple of racy parts and an objectionable word or two if you look to avoid those in books.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tiny eyes close.
A miniature body
No longer grows.
Mommy is shattered.
Daddy is sad.
Fate has erased
The plans that they had.
Through all of the grief
that leaves their hearts torn,
There's peace in knowing
An angel was born.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I read this book this morning. It takes about 2-1/2 hours so it is a really quick read. I cried several times in the book, laughed a little and loved the letters and how they helped this family, mostly the mother, heal from the loss of her husband the previous year. It was nice to read something that has the magic of Christmas and the excitement for the kids and yet focused so much on the real meaning of Christmas.
It was touching to learn who it was that gave this family the gift but also the final gift the family received was beyond touching.
Yet another book that I really enjoyed. As I read the book, knowing I was seeing the movie Friday night, I wondered how they would fit certain parts of the book into the movie because quite a bit of the book were thoughts Lily had. They did fit a few in but for the most part, they were left out. I went to the movie with two friends, one of which read the book a long time ago and the other has my copy to read now. Both enjoyed the movie but there were parts they questioned, like kneeling on grits and asked what that was about during the movie. They don't enlighten you during the movie, but show the end result on Lily's knees. Like any movie they altered parts of the book. The movie is worth seeing but I definitely preferred the book.
The book starts off with Lily, a 14 yr. old girl, looking at some things her mother had that she kept hidden by a peach tree in the orchard. Her father comes out after her in the night and we get the first impression that he is quite harsh with his punishment of kneeling in grits. His business is peaches and Lily sits at a stand by the roadside selling peaches. When her mother died, one of the workers in the field, Rosaleen, becomes Lily's care giver. The Voting Rights Act is signed and Rosaleen and Lily head into town so Rosaleen can register to vote. There ends up being some trouble and they end up in jail. Lily's father, T. Ray gets Lily and takes her home and lets her know that Rosaleen will probably end up dead. Lily helps Rosaleen escape from the hospital and they head to Tiburon, a place on the back of a picture her mother had.
Once in Tiburon, they come across honey and learn where the maker of the honey lives. The honey jars have the same label of the picture her mother had. Lily ends up an "apprentice" beekeeper and Rosaleen helps one of the sisters in the kitchen. Lily lies about where she is from, where she is going, her parents, etc. Lily is really hoping to learn more about her mother from these people and at one point realizes her mother had been there and asked May if she knew her mother and she did. The books goes on with the day to day and the lives of the 3 sisters and Lily as they become more involved with each other. Eventually, Lily fesses up and the beekeeper, August, knew all along who she was because she had been the caregiver of Lily's mother when she was young. T. Ray shows up at August's home and wants to take Lily home but she won't go and August gives him a way to leave her there saving face.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This book is fabulous. It takes place in various locations over a couple of years at the beginning of the Iraq war weaving together 3 stories. One story is based on a CIA agent, another on a Kurd fighter and the third story is based on two soldiers in the Special Forces. Each story is rather fascinating and unfolds showing their point of view and/or experiences of Iraq and the people, fighting and tragedy of what was endured under Saddam Hussein.
The book itself reinforced more what I hear from those that have served overseas than what the media portrayed. There were some interesting ideas in the book I hadn't considered. All in all, a great read and one that I think my husband would even enjoy.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This is a card I made before I was down with sciatica for a month. I've been off pain killers for a week now. I still feel a lot of discomfort, but I'm able to function without anything, which is nice and better for the baby.
This card is as close as I could get to one on SCS. I had the scallop frame surrounding the image, but it seemed to big with the ribbon. I didn't have the wheel but have ordered it since. I don't know how I didn't see it when I placed the original order.
Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes, Floral
CS: Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, WW
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Misc: markers, DD, ribbon
In the summer I started a book, Eat, Pray, Love and only made it through 2/3 of the book. I loved the first section, the second seemed to drag and I put the book aside to read the Twilight series. I was reminded of the book recently in a conversation and decided to finish it. The end seemed to move quickly enough. The one thing I appreciated about the book was how open the writing was. Thoughts that were expressed that we may think but tyically don't say.
I'm reading Ascent from Darkness by Wilson now and then I need to read The Secret of Life of Bees. A friend tells me it is coming to the theatre and would like to see and I like to read the book before seeing the movie.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This is the first book I've read written by Jodi Picoult. I enjoyed her writing style very much and the reality of her books. As I read portions of the book it took me back to the book Please Understand Me when it came to the bullying in school. I must confess that the end provided a twist I didn't expect.
I knew the book was about a school shooting and I must admit I liked that the shooting happened in the first chapter. I liked how strong her characters were and how it all unfolded. It was an interesting take on how the bullying affected not only the student but the outcome for many families, including his own after he was in prison and how people viewed them at work, in the community, etc.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Our son just turned 12 last week and was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood at church Sunday. My father-in-law came to share the weekend with us. He received his Faith in God award during Sacrament meeting and in the opening of Priesthood he recited the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood and received a plaque for it.
We had a little bit of a surprise when we found out that we are expecting. Still early on in the pregnancy but we are excited and the kids are looking forward to having a new brother or sister or possibly twins again.
I don't even know what to say about Eclipse. Back when I was reading the second book someone approached me and told me the book was the best and she was eating it up. It was torture for me. I will admit that I really like Breaking Dawn. A lot of it was redundant from previous books or didn't need to be written because it was implied fairly well. I was extremely disappointed with the end. I'm not into battles or wars, but the way this book ended just left me shaking my head. It moved quick enough and yet it wasn't as quick as one would like to have had. It was more torture for me than the characters in the book.
I'm glad I'm done with it and there aren't any more. I'm really not sure what all the hoopla was over. I guess it really comes down to what "type" of book you enjoy and this really wasn't it for me. I'm not willing to take the time to put a more positive slant on the books.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I was very surprised at the lack of coverage. When I Googled it, I came up with a lot of blog entries. One blog referenced an article in the Washington Times and I went to their site and located the article.
Once upon a time , there was a young, charismatic and eloquent young leader who decided his nation needed a change and that he was the one to implement it.
The people were receptive and ready for a change.
He spoke passionately when denouncing the existing System, and the media loved him. Nobody questioned what he believed in or whom his friends were. He would help the poor and bring free medical care and education to all. He would bring justice and equality. He said: I am for hope and change and I will bring you both.
Nobody bothered to ask about the change, so by the time the executioners’ guns went silent, all personal firearms had been confiscated. When everyone was finally equal, they were equally poor, hungry and miserable. Their free education was worthless. When the change was fully implemented, the country had been reduced to a Third World status. More than a million people fled in small boats and rafts. The charismatic young leader was Fidel Castro; the nation, Cuba .
The citizens of the United States would never fall for a charismatic, eloquent young leader who promises hope and change without asking, “What change, and how much will it cost us?”—would we?
Friday, September 5, 2008
Right off I enjoyed the writing style of Stephenie Meyer. She holds your interest immediately, which, as of late, I can't say has been the case for other books I've read. I was aware that this series was geared toward young adults. A positive in my mind because it would be a quick read. It was entertaining to read of high school issues/relationships and recall my own experiences. Those memories and reminders of what it was like made the first part of the book somewhat fun to read. I was delightfully surprised at the lack of vampire escapades that I had expected to be there. It is important to keep in mind that this is fantasy/romance, at least for me, so I don't wonder what Bella is thinking when her desire to be a vampire is expressed. I can understand from a teenagers point of view wanting to be with the one you "love" but I have a hard time with the forever part of that choice.
With the book Twilight, I liked the beginning, almost to the middle of the book, then I wasn't so thrilled with it. The explaining of vampire difference and how the Cullen family was became long and mundane and the relationship itself was getting somewhat tiring with the dependence. It did pick up toward the end when a vampire was after Bella. I found it a pleasurable read at the end due to it not being drawn out in the plotting and the story went along rather quickly.
When I was less than thrilled with the book in the middle I was undecided as to whether I would continue with the series. The ending was so good that I went ahead and bought the rest of the books hoping they would be delivered by the time I finished the book.
New Moon involves more fantasy as werewolves come into the picture. I was humored that it was a vampire series and there were vampires in the first 3 chapters and then it went for 14 chapters without any. Toward the end of the 14 chapters is where the werewolves came into play though. I must admit I laughed out loud when I read October - turn the page, November - turn the page, December - turn the page, January - turn the page and the story picked up again.
It was interesting how depressed Bella became when Edward left her. It seems like she left her friends when she was with Edward and she didn't have a desire to be with them when he was gone. What was in the book that she feared her police chief father would consider reckless humored me too. I don't have a problem with cliff diving or learning to ride a motorcycle. The time she approached some men outside of a bar, now that was foolish.
In this book you have yet another vampire after Bella. It seems that her relationship with Jacob, an Indian that will become a werewolf, it quite similar to that of Edward. She doesn't gush over how perfect looking he is but he has skills that help her in her destruction mode that she has for a lot of the book so that she can hear Edward's voice in her head. The story is set up well to understand how the werewolves and vampires detest each other.
If I had to choose, I think I would admit that I preferred New Moon to Twilight. I started Eclipse yesterday. I'm short on time for reading until Sunday afternoon though.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I was a bit grumbly about a month ago with all of the school supplies that had to be purchased to start school. I'm not talking about the clothes, shoes, backpacks, or lunchboxes, just the basic supplies requested by the schools. The night before school started, I put out everything they had to start back to school and it looked like Christmas. I took a picture to share with my husband, who was away for a month, so he could see what a few hundred dollars will get.
Which brings me to a page I did showing a section of supplies once it is packed up. His backpack was very heavy. I found it funny that he couldn't even fit his supplies in it, let alone the 6 books they gave us when we picked up his schedule.
Just for fun, I filled out the places I've lived and visited. The northern part of our country I have yet to experience. I'm hoping our next move will take us somewhere north.
visited 38 states (76%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or determine the next president
Monday, August 25, 2008
You Are a Dash
Your life is fast paced and varied. You are realistic, down to earth, and very honest.
You're often busy doing something interesting, and what you do changes quickly.
You have many facets to your personality, and you connect them together well.
You have a ton of interests. While some of them are a bit offbeat, they all tie together well.
You friends rely on you to bring novelty and excitement to their lives.
(And while you're the most interesting person they know, they can't help feeling like they don't know you well.)
You excel in: Anything to do with money
You get along best with: the Exclamation Point
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
There were so many parts to appreciate about Claire as she continued to evolve. The worries of being a pastor's wife, wanting a wedding gown way out of her price range and becoming a dog walker to pay for, serving others through her dog walking business and eventually the assisted living facility she worked at. The ways in which we are quick to judge without having the whole picture. Wanting to be that great parent and struggling to know how to handle situations.
The situations that are presented in this book are so realistic and it is easy to get wrapped up in the story and appreciate how things are handled and on occasion, consider what you would have done in that particular situation.
The three books were really an enjoyable read and I'm glad that I was introduced to this author.
Monday, August 11, 2008
This card came after the swap was mailed but was part of the swap. So worth the wait and a super cute card to boot. Bev Gerard made the card and did a lot of cutting for this swap. I like the stitching with the DP, it seems to fit perfectly with this set.
I was chatting with a friend outside last night when the sun was starting to set. I love that time of night when the clouds get a pinkish hue and the mountains seem to glow. My description can not do justice to what I saw, it was a magical few moments which this picture doesn't really do justice to. Due to the clouds, the mountains don't have their usual glow but it was beautiful.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
On to yet another easy read, Claire Knows Best. I really enjoyed this one, perhaps more than the first. The first book I liked because of her parenting, quick wit and very real responses. This book reminded me how much people are put in our path for a reason. Sometimes we get to have them for a while and sometimes it is quick and it is up to us to learn and grow from the experiences we have with them. In the book Claire saves a man's life by giving CPR, her relationship with her ex-husband, while not healed, is in the beginning stages of forgiveness and moving on. She is acquainted with a neighbor and server at a restaurant that happen to be and estranged father and daughter. The daughter is able to see her father slightly differently and give a little opening for a relationship to begin. There is even something to the relationship that she has with the ornery neighbor that ends up giving acting lessons to her son (and is the father of the previously mentioned server).
Like every parent, she faces the challenges of giving her kids a little more freedom and being scared at the possibilities and reigning them in when they make poor choices. I like that when her daughter Ari made the choice to go out with with her friend and some college boys for pizza and another time to a party that there were consequences. The fabulous part in this story is that while she was a typical teenager, annoyed with her parent and the consequences she had for her actions, she ended up learning something, taking it to heart and making a difference for so many others.
It was interesting to see the healing she had with her ex-husband and his wife Darcy. Her own relationship with Greg was nicely done too, with the struggles of potentially being a pastor's wife. You could identify with the feelings and frustrations. It is so easy to feel like you know Claire because she is so real, saying and thinking what we all do. I think that is what is so appealing to me about these books is that it is real, not all the fluff and hot and heavy romance that other books put on relationships. The main characters in this book all have something they need to work on but they are all working to be better than are.
I can't say you walk away with anything that you would want to apply to your life. It is simply a fun book, easy to get involved with, and when it is over you are content and feeling good about the read. I'm glad my friend introduced me to these books. They aren't my usual read but I'm truly enjoying them.
I know this is kind of jumbled but I have so many thoughts and I'm trying to get them down and I think it may have led to a lot of jumping around.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I was at a friends house recently and she had oodles of peaches and gave me 3 bags of peaches to do something with. Time wasn't on my side to make freezer jam like I had hoped. Church needs kept me crazy busy for most of the week. I found a recipe for bread and for muffins. The kids really liked the bread, so when I was at the commissary, I picked up more peaches. As I was cleaning off the counters last night I noted they weren't going to make it much longer so I made a couple more loaves of the bread. The bread seems like more of a spice bread to me because you can't taste the peaches at all. They are visible but they don't seem to really add anything to the bread. Still, another loaf is gone. I froze the other one for a later time.
2/3C butter or margarine softened
1/4t almond extract
2C peeled sliced peaches
2t baking soda
1/2t baking powder
1C chopped pecans
4T chopped pecans
4T brown sugar
Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in water, oil and extracts. Stir in peaches. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
This is the card I ended up making for Jami's sneak peek swap. I was frustrated because I tried to come up with a way to decorate the tree but I either didn't have enough (i.e., brads to use) or it just didn't work out like I hoped. In the end, I think I would like the card better with different colors but I went with the house I grew up and used the red that matched the DP.
One last note, it was incredibly stressful to me to be in this swap. The ladies that were in the swap are leagues above me. Hopefully they were happy with what they received. I cut the windows three times and that was rather tedious. Not sure that I would do that many again or at least at one time.
Not a terribly good picture but you can see the tree being more in the background with this picture.
Stamps: Window Dressing, Lovely as a Tree
CS: Celery, Riding Hood Red, VV, Hunter Bella Rose DP
Ink: Stazon Black, Hunter, Garden Green
Misc.: Dimensionals, VV Grosgrain, Transparencies, DD, CE
Monday, July 28, 2008
All of the family was gathered in Colorado this weekend. We couldn't be there for the whole weekend due to travel, we went Saturday as a surprise. It is rare for everyone to be together like that and we couldn't miss the opportunity. I usually bring food for a meal when we go, but because they weren't expecting us at all, I needed to find out what was on the menu and and go with that. One of the meals was a dutch oven stew. We had done one the previous week when we were there and it was delicious but I decided to make one with a little different flavor.
I found this recipe and we all enjoyed the barbecue flavor. I would recommend when spooning off the juice after browning the meat that you reserve some in case you need it. It was on the dry side but my husband just drained it off near the fire pit.
You can see in the pit there are 3 dutch ovens. Two of the dutch ovens had stew and the third was a cherry/peach/pineapple cobbler.
Byron's One Pot Dinner
(1) 3lb. london broil; cut into 1" cubes (I used stew meat)
2 medium yellow onions; sliced thick
7 cloves garlic; minced
6-8 carrots; cut into 1" pieces
2 medium bell peppers; cut into 1" pieces
1-1/2C mushrooms; sliced (I omitted)
6-8 med. potatoes; cut into 1" cubes
2C barbecue sauce
1/3C red wine vinegar
1/4C balsamic vinegar
1/4C Worcestershire sauce
2T soy sauce
5 cloves garlic
1/2t Tobasco sauce
1/2C olive oil
Advance Preparation: Prepare the marinade in a blender by blending to puree first 6 ingredients. Continue blending while adding olive oil slowly until oil is completely emulsified. Put cubed meat into a large Ziploc bag and add marinade. Seal the bag and shake to completely coate meat. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours turning meat twice.
Heat a 12" deep dutch oven using 22-24 briquettes bottom. Drain marinade off the meat and add meat to hot oven and fry until brown. Spoon off most of the juice. Add onions and garlic. Stir, then cover and cook until onions are translucent. Add carrots, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cover and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 20 minutes. Add potatoes, barbecue sauce and salsa and stir to mix. Place 3 sprigs of rosemary on top. Cover and cook 30-45 minutes using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 12-14 briquettes top heat. Stir pot gently every 10 minutes removing rosemary from top before and replacing after. When vegetables are done remove rosemary and discard.
Friday, July 25, 2008
This is the first card I've done with this set. What I'm visualizing in my mind I can't seem to get on paper, yet. The window itself took me 4 attempts and by the time I was done with it I just wanted to go to sleep so I put a card together so I can start fresh today. The DP is supposed to be like wallpaper on the wall but I think to make it more realistic, there needs to be something in the room. This is going to require some thought.
|Stamps: Window Dressing, Floral|
|Paper: Baja Breeze, Riding Hood Red, WW, Not Quite Navy, Bella Rose DP|
|Ink: Jet Black Stazon, Riding Hood Red, Not Quite Navy|
|Misc.: Markers: NQN, Real Red, Creamy Caramel; glue pen; DD|
Friday, July 18, 2008
Created by: Delores Wilson, Patty Jones
Created by: Elizabeth Kratzer, Stephanie Wasson
Created by: Tammy Sparacino, Joyce Pacer
Created by: Maria Warren, Unknown
Created by: Sheryl Brown, Virginia Haverick
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Several weeks ago we watched Holly while her mother had surgery on her shoulder. Holly is a blast and while a child, makes adult comments that make you laugh and smile. The first time I met Holly she greeted us at the door, introduced herself, their dog and asked "what's your name?" At one point during the visit she asked if we would like something to drink.
Fast forward a several months. I see her out one day and she gives a curtsy and said, "Your Highness". How can you not love someone that addresses you in that manner.
Another month or so goes by and I watched her while her mother attended class (her usual sitter was on vacation). This meant she had to make school runs with me. We played at the park while we waited for my son's school to get out. While we were waiting for the girls school to end, she asked to go in. On our way into the school, my son walked on the grass and she told him to walk on the sidewalk, then she asked if he was alright. As we walked through the halls with one of my daughter's teachers, she walked very quietly, put her finger to her lip and "sshhh"ed us. Her expressions and mannerisms are priceless and we look forward to any opportunity we have for her to spend some time with us.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Created by Catie Palmer, Unknown
Created by: G. Ferrao, Unknown
Created by: Heidi Fergen, Kimber Kindle
Created by: Terri Tank, Unknown
Created by: Unknown, Unknown