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

I Love Claire

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found the book entertaining because there were parts where I could identify with due to I was as a teenager and what I must have put my mother through. The not-so-funny part is I'm in the beginning stages of some of these antics with our own kids.

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

Sock Monkey

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

Jami's Swap

Here are the cards from the swap I participated in.

Created by: Jennifer Moneagle, Janine Tinklenberg

Created by: Jessica Newton, Crystal Spencer

Created by: Lisa Hoekstra

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Claire Knows Best

It has been a while since I read the book Leave It to Claire. I needed some light reading and because I enjoyed the first one so much, I picked up book 2 and 3 at a used store online. Time has been pretty short lately and by the time I'm going to bed and ready to read, I really need something light to read and enjoy. A couple of weeks ago a friend recommended Things My Girlfriend and I have Argued About. I know I finished the second chapter but I don't think I ever finished the third chapter. I'm returning it to the library tomorrow. Perhaps another time but it didn't appeal to me right now. I also bought Twilight because so many people have highly recommended it. I must admit I bought it with reservation because I'm just not into vampires. I will read it, but I haven't even tried to yet. I will probably read Anna Karenina and 19 Minutes before I get to Twilight.

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

Peach Bread

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.

Peach Bread

2/3C butter or margarine softened
2C sugar
4 eggs
1/3C water
1/3C oil
2t vanilla
1/4t almond extract
2C peeled sliced peaches
3-1/3C flour
2t cinnamon
2t baking soda
1t salt
1/2t baking powder
1C chopped pecans

4T chopped pecans
4T brown sugar
1/2t nutmeg

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.

Sneak Peek Swap

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

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