Friday, November 28, 2008

Family Traditions


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The past 6 years or more, we have enjoyed assembling Gingerbread houses.  After they are decorated the houses become part of my Christmas decorations.  This year I thought it would be nice to include Grandma in how we prepare for Christmas.  She will help us assemble houses today.  Next week we are going to decorate for Christmas ( a tree and all!) before she has to leave to go home.

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(Okay for all you betheelou readers who think I am Martha Stewart, Susie Homemaker or Bethee Crocker... I am NOT!   I PURCHASE my gingerbread houses kits and we assemble them.  This year, we didn't even have to mix the frosting!  Wonderful!  I know myself pretty good.  I have established that I do not have enough patience to whip up a batch of gingerbread, cut out shapes, bake the shapes, throw a great royal icing together, and assemble all the pieces knowing they turned out to the contractors specifications.  I know that sounds like too much work!.  I DID try using graham crackers last year.  It wasn't pretty!  Don't use graham crackers in a home heated with wood heat!"

We also made cinnamon ornaments for our tree today.  That was FUN!  #2 son was having a blast.  It was like playing in the mud. 

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Recipe~ 1 C. Ground Cinnamon, 3/4 C. to 1 C. prepared applesauce.  Mix in medium size glass bowl, mix with wooden spoon until thick dough forms.  Roll out onto a cinnamon covered board until about 1/4" thick.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.  Make holes with a straw to insert ribbon through after they are dry.  Bake on a cookie sheet, 2 hours at 200 degrees until almost dry.  Remove to wire rack or wax paper.  Allow to completely dry, (mine are still not hard, maybe a few more days.)  Thread about 6" ribbon through hole, knot it, hang on Christmas tree.  If the scent wears off in future years, may add 1 drop of cinnamon oil to each ornament.  Pack well between seasons.  They will be fragile.


Sharing Thanksgiving

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We've had an amazing couple of days with my Mother here from Oregon.  She is glad she is able to share some of our Holiday traditions with us.

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We had a great feast yesterday~ Smoked Turkey, Prime Rib, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Smoked Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Wild Rice Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Creamed Peas with Onions, Cranberry Jello Salad, Coleslaw, Homemade dinner rolls, Veggie tray with dip, Turtle Pumpkin Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Pecan Pie.

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Of course, the ever watchful Banjo dog, looking to see if he is going to be able to help me clean up.

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I've enjoyed my second time around with left overs for lunch today.  It might have even tasted better than yesterday!  YUMMY!

My mother and I have enjoyed watching the entire series of Sarah, Plain & Tall, and Rigoletto movies as well.  It is enjoyable to watch girl movies with another girl!



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good Quote


"There is nothing like staying at home

 for real comfort."

Jane Austen



Happy Happy Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Trip to the Big City


Yesterday we went into the city.  We saw some sights, ate lunch caught a show and experienced mass transit!

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Former sight of the World Trade Centers.


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Trinity Church Steeple

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Blue Man Group... Way- Way- Way off Broadway, but entertaining!




Friday, November 21, 2008

Grandma Is Here!



Grandma is here. 

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Grandma's Room while she is here. 

She is enjoying a restful day today.  We went out for a while this morning and got some shoes as she left all hers in Oregon.  We are watching movies this afternoon and she is enjoying cuddle time with #2 son.  Dinner tonight was going to be Beef Tips with gravy and egg noodles but I think they voted for pizza.  I don't have to cook...sounds good to me.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Almost time

Almost time for grandma to be here. 


I am almost done with the final touches to my Christmas mailing!  Yippee!!. 


I figured how to print address labels!!  A major accomplishment.  The last time I did this was 10 years ago as a church secretary who had to be talked through each step.  I still need help but figured it out on my own!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Progress Of Plans

I thought I'd share with you how my progress is coming for the things I was doing this week.  Yesterday I did laundry and cleaned the upstairs bathroom.  I  finished washing bedding today.  Now I have to remake two beds.

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I cooked today.  Here is what I made~ Pecan Pie, Peanut Butter Pie with Oreo crust, Turtle Pumpkin Pie, Clam Chowder Base, White Chicken Chili Base, Taco Salad meat, 2 Meat Loaves, 2 loaves Banana Bread and tonight's dinner~ Barbecued Meatballs, Creamy Garlic Noodles with sauted Garlic Ginger Snow Peas.


Tomorrow is a Thanksgiving potluck at church.  I made a Mashed Potato Casserole and Turkey Gravy to put in the crock pots, and  Frog Eye Salad.  My oldest son made a Banana Cake.

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I heard from my Mom as she was getting settled in her roomette on the train.  She has a bed and a bathroom, receives a newspaper and gets her meals all from her room,  FANCY!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Making Plans


I was getting dressed this morning and fixing my hair in the bathroom.  I went back into my room to grab my camera and this is what I found.  I think he has a guilty look on his face.  I've caught him on beds twice today.  Not sure why he is doing that...  He knows he is only allowed to be on them when he is invited.  Someone must be giving out many invitations! 


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The title of my post today is "Making Plans."  That is what we have been doing lately.  My Mom is coming for a visit all the way from Oregon on the train.  She arrives next Thursday and will stay about 2 weeks.  She thinks she is coming for rest and relaxation.  Can a trip to NYC be relaxing?  Maybe...

I've tried to organize a little bit for our guest.  I've got a menu and activities planned.

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Today I went and did some grocery shopping at Aldi'sI still need to get some things I can't find there.  This next week I am going to cook some things to make preparing meals easier when Mom is here.  Like brown ground beef and freeze it.  Make a soup and freeze it.  Make a meatloaf and freeze it etc...  I will put her in #2 sons room on the little bed and bunk the boys together on the bigger bed.  She gets to sleep with Harrison Ford.  Yes... that is because we have 'Indiana Jones' posters up on the wall in that room.  I don't think she will be sad!

Some menu items~  Beef Tips and Gravy with egg noodles, Taco Salad, Clam Chowder, Smoked Turkey and Prime Rib for Thanksgiving, Fish and Chips, White Chicken Chili, Hot Turkey Sandwiches, Fried Chicken, Meatloaf and Spaghetti.

Some things we are planning to do~  NYC sight seeing one day, one day a NYC show, Antiquing along one of our favorite drives in the countryside, Window shopping and tea in a nearby town, make christmas ornaments for our tree, decorate for Christmas and a few other fun things!

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This other pile of stuff on my desk is for our annual Christmas letter.  I have copies of the pictures to enclose in the letter but am very unhappy with their quality.  If I didn't 180 of them, I'd print them myself.  But my handy, dandy super mega store processed the photos of the boys and managed to cut off #2 sons head every time. (I've taken the photos in twice to be processed.) Yes, this year the quality of our pictures is terrible because we don't know how to use our new camera.  I was reading the camera manual last night.  I think I need a prescription for a memory drug to remember ALL the things it will do.  I found out last night it will take black and white photos.  (We've had the camera for a YEAR and I didn't know that!)  ~And I still need to write the letter.  I like the format we used last year, a newsletter/newspaper.  I am going to try to get that written tomorrow.  I have our address labels coming by special order.  I've taken my address book and put it on the computer recently, a major task.  Maybe everyone will receive an address label on their envelope!

Just to share a few facts with you~

This is our 13th move in 19 years.  Some of those have been to a place across town but all those homes had a different address.  This is our 10th church to be a part of in 19 years.  We make friends (At least I hope they are friends! ) at each place we have lived.  We like to keep everyone up to date on where we are and how we are, so we send an annual Christmas letter.  Last year I sent about 171 letters.  This year I am expecting to send a few more as we just left our friends at our church in Kodiak, Alaska. 

I like sending out our Christmas letters.  I do not receive 171 responses back but we do get quite a few.  I use the Christmas cards we receive to decorate a special spot in my home.

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Last picture is the kitty trying to be center of attention.  Can you get much typing done when they rub on the monitor and step on the keyboard?  It is fun to have her walk on the piano!




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Wheeled Adventure


We spent a little time with my friend Allison and her daughter Sienna this afternoon.  Allison was happy to share homemade chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa with us.  It is a little chilly here but not uncomfortably chilly (it's about 44 degrees.)

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Random Thoughts


(Thanks onehappymomma for this idea )


Outside my Window...It is a beautiful fall afternoon.  The leaves are falling like rain.  The ground is covered with beautiful, colorful leaves.  My favorite colors are the deep reds and brilliant oranges... but I also am partial to the yellows!

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I am thinking...about the election results last night.  I find comfort in the verse:  

" If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

II Chronicles 7: 14 

From the school room...Today, and this week, a lot of review.  Today was review of colors we have learned.

I am thankful for...A whole LOT...My home, husband, children, salvation, church... and more!             

From the kitchen...Tonight will be hamburger gravy on cooked white rice and spiced green beans, maybe with a small green salad.

I am wearing...tan skirt with striped cream top, with long socks (planning on wearing my dress boots tonight at church.) 

I am reading...Mysteries.  I just finished one last night and will start another tonight.

I am hoping...there are many things I hope for ~ I'm praying about most of them.

I am creating... my blog...thinking about creating some watches (I'll have to post pictures of the watches soon)

I am hearing...the clothes dryer bang and clang.

Around the house... My bed is made.  Kitchen counters are clean.  There is a load of clean dishes in the dishwasher.  There are no rugs on the floor in the bathroom, (They are white and get dirty fast!)

One of my favorite things... laying in my bed with my mattress warmer turned on reading a good book and munching on homemade popcorn.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Tonight is the start of Missions Conference at our church.  It will be fun to see slide presentations and hear some great preaching the next three days. I am bringing food for the missionaries and our Pastors on Saturday morning: scrambled eggs and fried potatoes and Sunday: a GREAT big green salad.

I am sharing... more pictures of the view from my kitchen window.

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