October 25, 2007

Keeping warm...

We went to a friends house for dinner recently, she just went to Japan and was showing us some of the things she bought (she gave us each gifts, Hello Kitty chopsticks and cupcake liners for the girls, a tea tin for me). I absolutely love the kokeshi doll she bought.

Wrapping it up... This is what we like to do: we make our own wrapping paper, using paper grocery bags and use the toilet paper roll as a circle stamp... wrap up a gift in newspaper or the comics! Can you sew? Make a simple re-usable bag out of fabric, gather the top and tie with a pretty ribbon. Do you have a 12 x 12 piece of paper? This box will hold a gift (half dozen cookies, handmade cards, a pair of socks, etc) that is 2 x 4 x 4 and can be used over and over, too!
It's really fall...temperatures are falling. Today we finally turned on the heat. We have the old hot-water radiators in our house. Rob and I plan to get the girls each a down comforter, we actually have 2 queen sized ones...they keep us so cozy and warm!

Below is one of my favorite layouts from this summer. It makes me shiver just to look at it, now that's the air is cool, but at the time it was sultry.

October 23, 2007


I've been tagged!
My blogger friend, Samantha, tagged me! Here's the deal: link to the person who tagged you; Share 7 random facts about yourself; Tag 7 other people and leave them a comment to let them know you tagged them; and, post these rules on your blog! So, you want to know 7 random facts about me? Okay, here it goes...

1. I think coffee is gross (but love tea).

2. I won a Popple (do u remember those? stuffed animals that can fold up into a ball...mine was a bright green) in a coloring contest at our local drugstore when I was about 7.

3. I'm a nerd, I love math (geometry and alegbra espcially) and think playing chess is fun!

4. I am a Russian Orthodox Christian (but am not Russian).

5. I haven't ever had my hair cut by a professional (when I was little my mom or a friend would cut it, now Rob or I cut it).

6. My grandma took me to Scotland when I was 10 for a month.
7. I'm a rebel.

Okay, now I want to hear from you: 1. Petra 2. Xenia 3. Jo 4. Kim 5. Sarah 6. Marina 7. Kristina (if you don't blog, leave the 7 random facts in the comments, please)!

Such a tiny, sweet little bunny...we think Minty is a girl, but aren't sure. She loves to eat mint leaves out of the garden, as well as, dandelion greens, apples, carrots, bananas, pears, etc. That was a year and a half ago, I'll share a recent photo, later...

What do you think of our new wooden beam mantle? It was just stone before, but Rob found this beam (a barn was being torn down nearby).

I made another batch of biscotti last night. Mmm!

We went on a hiking a few days ago. The leaves were gorgeous, mostly green still, but LOTS of brightly colored yellow, some orange and red leaves, that look like fire!

October 21, 2007

Before and after

We made wrapping paper with paper grocery bags and was a lot of fun! We gave Paul a set of Magnetix and Pinart....I want one, they're so much fun (here's a link to one like it:! After playing hard, running around, jumping, sliding, eating pizza and's what I got, one sleepy little girl still clinging onto her balloons and one who was anxious to show Daddy her NEW blue waterbottle and bunch of balloons!

October 18, 2007

Nature's beauty

You can find beauty in such seemingly simple things...they are really complex and inexplicable to me, God's creations are a mystery, a miracle... and I'm so thankful for every bit!Today at my work, their school, the children found leaves and did crayon rubbings. sister's cat cleaning is herself. She's such a sweet little cat, we're guessing she's about a year old, she just got her a month ago and has been out of town a lot lately, so we've been "cat-sitting."

October 16, 2007

Emma is 3 months old today....

Saturday, I hosted a Longaberger basket show and I just LOVE what I saw...all the wonderful liners and beautiful, quality baskets, that are made here in Ohio! My favorite is the Warm Brown stained wooden baskets and the Toboso plaid liner. I am going to get the pie carrier, which comes with a riser, half price...and I want to get a few of the round keeping baskets, too! Some may end up Christmas gifts, but for now I am being selfish and thinking of what I want...the show will close 10/23.
Today my niece is 3 months old...she's making eye contact and smiles (and even laughed at my sister making goofy noises). I was so happy that Olivia wanted to give her some attention, the two of them were laying on the couch together and I propped little Emma on Olivia's belly and (uh-oh), she spit up, poor Olivia thought it was throw-up and was starting to really nauseated her, she wanted to take her shirt off immedately, even though it was just a little bit, as a mom, I would've let it go, because if I changed my clothes for every little thing, I'd be going through way too many outfits!
Tonight, we had a few friends and family over for dinner, I made the chicken curry is so good. One friend, Magdalena, has Celiac disease, so it was perfect for her, gluten-free! My mom brought ginger snaps and "strawberries 'n cream" from Trader Joe's. I also served organic green salad sprinkled with almonds. I definitely eat more when there is good company and we spend time chatting around the table!
Rob made some bookshelves for the living room (and I have all of my scrapbooks there, easily accessible!) and for the girl's room. Don't all those toys make it look like the toy department at a store?? It's sure a lot better than having all those doll houses and little pet shops all over the floor...

October 9, 2007


Thankfully, we all live near each other, now. All 3 of my sisters and my parents are in Ohio, the largest distance, about 45 minutes by car from each my parents 4 and only grandchildren, are playing in their wagon over the weekend, together! Little Emma had been crying, but she seemed to enjoy the wagon ride, it soothed her and although she's looking down at the moment, I love it...

Here I am at Starbucks with my latest painting. "An Illusion of Light"
Hannah and Olivia icing the maple leaf cookies in the morning (notice the pajamas)'s my favorite time of day.
I am getting ready to order a bunch more photos from, they're having a 6 cents/print (4x6) sale!

October 6, 2007


1 : highly pleasing :
DELIGHTFUL 2 : DELICIOUS - de·lec·ta·bil·i·ty /-"lek-t&-'bi-l&-tE/ noun - de·lec·ta·bly /-blE/ adverb

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt (if butter is unsalted)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour

Early in the day or the day before:
In a large bowl cream the shortening and the sugar. Add the eggs & extract. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl. Mix until well combined. With hands, shape dough into a ball. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, as I did.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough with rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters. I bake mine on the large bar pan (Pampered Chef stone) with the silicone non-stick mat or parchment paper for about 8 minutes, just as they start to turn brownish on the ends. I like them a bit soft. After they've cooled completely, I ice them (softened butter, vanilla extract, milk and confectioners sugar, to taste & food coloring, if you wish). I got that wonderful Maple Leaf cookie cutter on our trip to Vermont this past August.

October 2, 2007

Our wonderful weekend...

I made a delicious tortelini dish, from the Pampered Chef cookbook, 29 minutes to dinner. I put a bag of fresh spinach in the colander and drained the boiling water and tortelini over the top of it, so they just wilted!
We went to a potluck, so we dipped strawberries in chocolate (take semi-sweet chocolate and break into small chunks and put in a glass dish in the microwave for 60 seconds, stir and DIP) and made cream puffs to share!
We also had Curried Chicken. It was really good, Olivia even asked me if I could make it every day! It had a curry, coconut milk, golden raisins, chicken, onions, carrots and I served it over brown basmati rice. Mmm!

Rob helped plant some yarrow, which I had meant to plant a week ago, but I had a really hard time digging a hole that was big enough. Hannah and Olivia made "salad" from things growing in our yard and served it on a badminton racket in their clubhouse. Our bunny, Minty, jumped all over the yard all day and ate what she liked. She's now a year and a half old and probably 8 lbs. and I don't think she can fit through the fence any longer! She used to escape and go to the neighbor's yard.

Hannah had karate she is practicing her "head block." She is quite a ninja, cute and tough!