December 28, 2007


I was scrapbooking last night! A friend told me about this new scrapping message board (they have an online shop, too), where I uploaded some of my favorite layouts:

That 6 x 12 size was inspired by the February issue of Creating Keepsakes (which I just got, super early, right? but I'm very happy)! On page 14 (in the back section), there's a page by Mitchell Kraft (a 19 year old artist, a photographer, a guy who scraps), I love this I just need to find an album to house this, or else put it in my 12 x 12 next to another 6 x 12.

Rob got the girls a train set, that they totally love, their Polly Pockets fit inside it! My parents came over and gave the girls each a quilt and Rob and I got some soft LL Bean slippers. I am almost finished with the calendar for them, so it will be a "new year" gift. Anytime is a good time to give someone you love something special, right?

December 24, 2007


Going backwards for the past few days....

It's such a joy to see so much family, from far away places and near, to spend time together.

Zoya, Chris and their little Harriett came for lunch today.

Sarah and her friend, Mike, came, played music with us and shared homemade raw chocolate.

My mom with Juliana.
We gave Emma her first sippy cup! She seemed to like it, but I don't think she actually got any water out of it.

Sunday afternoon, we spent with my in-laws. Here is Rob's Grandma, who is 97! Then, Saturday, Hannah earned her yellow belt in karate!
Our friend, Nicholas is 6. Friday was Emmelia's first time in a pool. It was so much fun swimming, I even got in with the kids! Click HERE for more December photos!

December 20, 2007

Recipe, anyone?

Aren't these adorable? I wish I knew how she made them, I'd be afraid they wouldn't last, if I made them myself. Click on above image, to see the recipe better...this is one of my favorites!

Today we worked on our gingerbread houses...we had a friend and then, my niece come over... they each made a house and took it home, too.

There are lots of cool digital papers, fonts...I don't have the best software, but I can play around and see if this is something I'd like.Here is a free digital card for you to print:

December 19, 2007

Lots of good things...

I fixed Olivia's into looped braids (she thought she looked like Cindy Lou, you know the one who befriended the Grinch?)!! We had a Christmas program in the nursery school, I work with children ages 3-5. There is a morning class and an afternoon class...which Olivia is in, and here she is with her sparkly star-headband that she made last week. They sang "Away in the manger" beautifully.

Being an Orthodox Christian, we follow the Julian calendar, which is 13 days after the Gregorian calendar, that most of the world follows. Today we celebrate St. Nicholas, the one who is remembered for giving to the needy. It's been a wonderful day and I'm sure it's a blessing from St. Nicholas. My little sister, Andrea (she's 23), is officially engaged. She is in Italy right now with her fiance, his parents and little sister, visiting the grandparents. They went to church last night and he proposed to her on the church steps! I can't wait until they come home and we get all the details! My girls are so excited and want to be flowergirls. Back to St. Nicholas, his remains are in Bari, Italy. He is an amazing intercessor to God for travellers, especially.
Although I celebrate Christmas with many on December 25th, we will go to our church and really celebrate the Nativity of Christ on January 7th (which is December 25th on the Julian calendar). It's really nice to focus on the real meaning, not on presents...

December 15, 2007


When I got up this morning, there wasn't a snowflake in sight...then an hour later or so it was like fluffy white feathers falling from above, so quick! So, we went outside and 4 of us had a *blissful* snowball fight!
I love these ATCs (artist trading cards...2.5 x 3.5 works of art) so inspiring. Who wants to make some & swap?
I wanted to buy this Gingerbread house kit at Trader Joe's...but thought I could do it myself, so far, all we've made are the trees (ice cream cone with green frosting and candies, sprinkles all over it). Maybe next week...

December 11, 2007

I saw "Miss Potter" this weekend, and it's such a great movie, all about the life of Beatrix Potter, the artist and writer of Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-duck, etc. I felt akin to her, she was independent, artistic, imaginative, romantic...

Zulu Cabbage (Recipes from the AFRICAN KITCHEN)
1 small white cabbage
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
12 oz canned tomatoes, chopped with juice reserved
1 tbsp mild curry powder
salt and pepper

I sliced the cabbage, onion and bell pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the onion and pepper until soft, then add the cabbage, cover and cook until it begins to wilt. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. We ate it as a side dish and it was really scrumptious. Here, I'm eating a bowl of it, as leftovers. I used a medium cabbage so it made extra! Thank you, Kim!!!

Today it got very warm, maybe 60 degrees, and I'm so glad, because I forgot to plant a bunch of Apricot Impression tulip bulbs I'd gotten a while back and the ground was soft enough for me to dig it up! We played in the backyard this afternoon, Olivia was wearing a short sleeved shirt and wasn't cold, nor was I concerned. The girls rode their bikes, jumped on the trampoline, chased Minty around the neighbors yard (like a sheep herding dog...back into our yard) and then we walked to ballet class. Just last week, we paid the costume fees (for their spring recital, the total was $91.50 for the 2 of them). Hannah is eligible to promote to a yellow belt (from white) in karate! It's $35...why does everything cost so much?

December 9, 2007


I cut my hair.I like my new perky ponytail. Three inches off...yes, I did it myself. I'm kinda afraid to wear it down, but a ponytail hides any imperfections!

If you want to make a cute pretzel wreath to eat, or use as an ornament, or give as a gift to's on page 2. Great to make with kids!!!

Here is the, just
4 days later. We've had a TON of rain, it would've all been snow, if it were a few degrees cooler. When we got home from church, the girls were totally surprised to see their pile (here) that they'd shovelled on the deck and their snowman...just a little evidence left from their play...

December 5, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside...

...and it's white, oh, it is so beautiful. I pulled my curtain aside, first thing when I hopped out of my warm bed (We have a new furnace). I was so happy to see all the white snow. Hannah and Olivia got out their rain boots and coats and went outside to help me clean off the car and play. I wish I could've stayed to play with them. On the radio in the car, I heard the sweet old tune, "Baby, it's cold outside." At school, I made some paper snowflakes with some of the children. I'm home now, just finished helping Hannah with her school work (we're homeschooling her through ECOT), water is boiling for pasta, getting ready for karate, but would love go play, except there are many things to do right now... I have always enjoyed playing in the snow!

December 3, 2007

Trolley ride...

This trolley was not attached to wire, but modernized and equipped with a bus-like engine. Olivia likes Mr. Rogers (a television show that is older than I am) and he always has a little red trolley that comes out and takes the viewers to make-believe land! We all thought it was great fun.
We had just come from a miniture train display, which was really beautiful. We especially loved all the details, the ice skaters that the train zipped past by, the icycles dripping off the houses, the Then, we went on a horse-drawn carriage ride. Next time, we hope to go ice skating. The rink freezes from equipment that is under it, because although today is VERY cold (30 or 35), it's often not cold enough to really keep it frozen. We skated last year with Aunt Sarah, Wally and Andrea.
These revolving doors are all over downtown, they're so much fun to walk around in!!! There are so many wonderful, fun things going on in the city.

December 1, 2007


Happy December! Last night, I was overwhelmed by this world, I'm used to feeling like I'm going to get run over by a fast car, people too busy on their cell phones, racing to get to the grocery checkout the fastest, and least of all someone mentioning "Christ," you know what I mean? Well, we went to the Ohio National's Victorian Village (it was all FREE) and we took a train ride from the parking area to the village, then walked to the mini post office, candy cane cottage, down to see the carolers, who sang enthusiastically and beautifully of Christ's birth! So many people volunteered to be out in the cold for a few hours, with a smile on their face, said "Merry Christmas!" It's only the beginning of December, but I pray I see more of this spirit and am able to be just as is hard not to get involved in the frenzy of buying!

Lastly, the girls sat on St. Nick's lap and Hannah said she didn't know what she wanted for Christmas, Olivia said she wanted a toy. They're not hard to please. If we really did the Santa-thing (I like to tell my girls the truth), they might have been prepared to whip up some dreamy wishes, I know Hannah would love a horse and Olivia would like a supply of pickles, shrimp and whipped cream!
We are without a furnace, the new one will be installed in a few days, but in the meantime, we are sitting around the fireplace and warming up our house with space heaters! Thank God we have electricity! Here's a recipe that will keep you warm:
Butternut squash and Coconut milk soup
2 cups butternut squash, cooked and mashed
1 can coconut milk
about 1/3 cup water
Curry to taste

In a deep large saucepan fry up butternut squash. Add coconut milk. Stir on medium to low heat. Add curry. Add water as needed. I think a dash of nutmeg would make it fabulous!

November 28, 2007

Homemade for the holidays

December is just around the corner, and I'm sure you don't want to buy everything at the last minute. Here's a great gift for anyone on your list...the Small Batter Bowl filled with all the ingredients to make Celebration Cookies! They are so delicious...white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, etc!'Tis the season for holiday baking. This month everyone will save on baking essentials with the Pampered Chef...our Stackable Cooling Rack is on sale for just $10.75 (which I absolutely LOVE, I have 2 & they stack beautifully together, and fold down for easy storage), the Cookie Press is $21.50, our NEW Pastry Mat is only $22 and the Pastry Blender is $11.50...that's 20% off our regular price!

Here's another recipe that you can fill the Small Batter Bowl with...or any 1 quart container!

M & M cookies:

3/4 cup (169g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5mL) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2.5mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (113g) chopped walnuts
1 cup (225g) M&M'S® Chocolate Mini Baking Bits, divided
1/2 cup (113g) raisins
3/4 cup (169g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1-1/4 cups (281g) uncooked quick oats

In medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In 1-quart clear glass jar with tight-fitting resealable lid, layer flour mixture, walnuts, 1/2 cup M&M'S® Chocolate Mini Baking Bits, raisins, brown sugar, remaining 1/2 cup M&M'S® Chocolate Mini Baking Bits, and oats. Seal jar; wrap decoratively. Give as a gift with the following instruction: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease cookie sheets; set aside. In large bowl beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 169g) butter, 1 large egg, and 3/4 teaspoon (3.75mL) vanilla extract until well blended. Stir in contents of jar until well blended. Roll into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks. Store in tightly covered container.



November 24, 2007

Our wedding...

...yes, today is our sweet anniversary. I'm blessed to have such a great husband. The T W Bead Letter O of us on the big day...

Here are some photos from Thanksgiving day: My husband's grandma...she's 97 years old. She played a few songs on the piano that I remember my Grandma Greene used to play "We gather together" and "Come ye faithful people come..." We would all surround her and start singing along.Uncle Scott brought home a potato launcher from stuff one down the skinny tube, fill the big PVC pipe will hairspray and ignite was LOUD and really shot far. I got some tiny bits of potato on my camera after. Ha ha ha. Oh, and my mother-in-law brought out that bowl of potatoes, we were surprised to see her join really made it a family event. Uncle Chris brought his 3 guinea pigs home from Iowa with him (and his really nice girlfriend, Heather) ...and the girls totally loved sitting and holding them, they squeaked a happy sound a lot! It was really cute.

P.S. If you want to make a super cool word with photo letters like I did above, click on this link:

November 21, 2007

Give thanks

We have so much to be thankful for...God has given a wonderful family, great friends, a house, food, the opportunity to worship as we wish and I . Olivia putting the finishing touches on her dough. She made a bunny. Delicious, warm from the oven, the butter melted easily...
Hannah is done with her homeschooling assignments for the day, doesn't she look especially happy?
This morning I made 2 apple pies. Mmm. I am thinking I'm going to get some cheddar cheese to serve with them. We are going to eat dinner at my in-laws house tomorrow.
Even though I like working, I am looking forward to 5 days of no work...starting today! We were going to go for a bike ride and then rake leaves, but it's raining now. There are 2 large cardboard box "houses" next to me...lots of inside fun!

This is super-silly, I only did it because a friend did it and the girls LOVED it: /?id=9565090017

November 15, 2007


Tuesday was "parent observation" for Olivia's ballet class and today, Hannah's ballet class. I got to see what they've been practicing. They are doing well. Hannah is practicing on the bar and is especially learning so many advanced things (in my mind), French words like: plie, passe, rond de jambe, arabesque, tan du, bam bam, etc. I never took ballet, so it's all new to me. I'm so impressed.
Simply yeast, salt, warm water and flour + work = bread. Have you ever been to a restaurant where they serve soup in a bread bowl? Well, here is one...

November 8, 2007


No one is perfect. I am so embarassed that I spelled "scrumptious" incorrectly...tell me the truth, did you know it was wrong and just didn't correct me out of politeness? I did feel like it was time to change the header now you get a picture of my old and well-used non-stick silicone mat with a strawberry dipped in chocolate!

We love pomegranates, here are some great recipes:'s got a myriad of hobbies, like me, but his favorite is working on his CJ. Mine? Scrapbooking is no. 1! Hannah and Olivia's? Maybe dressing up? Don't you love those pink shoes? Hannah HAD to get them, she was even crying as we buckled her in the car, she didn't need them, but thought they were so beautiful...Rob went back in the store by himself and bought them for they fit Olivia.