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December 28, 2009

Christ is in our midst...

Although we have celebrated Christmas this past week with some, we will really celebrate Christ's Nativity on Dec 25th (old calendar) or Jan 7th (new calendar)....so just 10 more days.It's my cute little nephew Isaac's first Christmas...my sister got him some sweaters at H & M (a Swedish clothing company).
We met up with my parents, sisters and cousin's family at Krohn's conservatory. They have a manger with sheep, a donkey and cow...and a sign that says "Keep Christ in Christmas." We went to Andy's Mediterranean Grill for lunch after. My dad used to work for Old World Bakery and deliver pita there. What an awesome place...their homemade pitas are SO good. As we left I saw a shelf of hookahs...glass smoking thingies...all kinds of pretty glass colors: purple, blue, yellow, red. I wish I'd taken a photo of it.
My sister-in-law and I sat and crocheted together, while the kids played. Hannah got Apples to Apples (the kids version)...we ALL like playing it! Olivia got Sorry, which I've played a lot over the past few days. We just completed a snowman puzzle together.

* One more week off work for me, so I'm sewing, baking, scrapbooking, etc. Just enjoying making things. I wish we'd get some good snow...I want to go sledding!

December 21, 2009

Galya the ballerina

Yesterday after church, we went to see our friend, Galina, who goes by Galya, in the Nutcracker. She was the maid in the beginning, a snowflake, a Spanish dancer, a Chinese dancer, a turquoise flower and one of the pink candy girls. She did a beautiful job! Since she doesn't have any family in town, she gave us tickets...free!

December 19, 2009

Our front yard...

Some happy snowmen came...it's the perfect packing snow!

video
Hannah practicing "The First Noel" on Thursday. She's getting better and better.
Have you ever seen an orange butterfly like this?

December 16, 2009

Festival of Lights

There's a huge Christmas tree at the zoo...Olivia went to take a look at her reflection in one of the bulbs. When I showed her this photo, she was confused "Where are you? I could see YOU" she said to me. Just found this recipe and am hoping to try it out later on today. Those almonds for sale at the zoo were so good $5 (for about a cup) and I didn't have enough cash. Abby, Bethany and Susanna shared with me, though...that was so sweet. We had so much fun with friends from church at the zoo's Festival of Lights!
I'm baking biscotti to give away to people I work with as a Christmas gift. Friday is my last day, then 2 full weeks off. It's nice to work in a school. I do enjoy my job...instilling a love of learning in young minds.

December 12, 2009

Golden Cornbread {recipe}

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together well, then add:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil
Pour into 9 inch square pan and bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes. I like to drizzle honey on top of my piece. It's good with beans or chili. Perfect for a cozy day indoors, when it's cold out.

December 7, 2009

{first snow}

I was so happy to wake this morning to see a dusting of snow...we put on our boots, hat, mittens, jackets, etc on top of our pajamas and went outside to enjoy the first snow of the season! Before 7am, we had a joyful snowball fight...everyday should start like that.
I'm making some simple ornaments as gifts. Some ice skates with paperclips, too.Making Christmas cards, some with a family photo (to those people who don't do email, mostly, like Aunt Val and Joanne), some just with sparkly gems on felt trees. I like the pink and green together.That's my crocheted version of Sheldon the turtle below...a Christmas gift for someone. I've been working on it while the girls are in karate class. Two 45 minute classes back to back = an hour and a half of crochet time.
Just a few days ago it was sunny and pretty warm...but it's gotten chilly again! I took this photo of Olivia, who last December had baby teeth, lost them in May, was toothless all summer long and finally has her adult teeth...such a sweet smile.Tomorrow we plan to go to see the Egyptian exhibit...the girls are so interested in pyramids and mummies.

November 30, 2009

{good times}

I hope ya'll had a nice Thanksgiving. We went to my in-laws in the afternoon. I brought pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling & Rob made sweet potatoes (from our garden). It was great to spend time with family. Rob's grandma is 99 years old. Her photo and more on my Flickr photostream.
My sister, Mary, and her husband came down from Canada. We read a lot together, played apples-to-apples, chess, yahtzee, crazy 8s, etc.
It was really nice to have some time "off"...I had 5 days off and Rob had a 4 day weekend!
We found a shop in Metamora, IN, that was full of neat old stuff (or junk). I wish I'd bought some knitting needles (just $1.00 a pair), but I'm really much better with a crochet hook. Downtown Cincinnati was a lot of fun...we went on a horse drawn carriage ride (all the fun FREE stuff to do: http://www.downtowncincinnati.com/holidays.html), ate lunch at Chipotle, rode the "trolley" to Duke Energy's train display, then went ice skating. $2.50 for rentals plus $2.50 to skate/person. Hannah was clobbered by a grown man...but she survived. Olivia fell pretty hard on her backside (just before Uncle Andrey took this photo) and cried, then wanted to skate more!
Isn't this an awesome calendar? So cute! Download yours here.

November 23, 2009

I am thankful for our freedom

The pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in America after finding a place they could worship as they wish...in freedom. It is something that we take for granted here. Many other countries persecute those who do something other than the government (Taliban or Socialism, for an example) allows.
I thought it was appropriate to share what our bunny did the lovely sunny weekend...enjoyed her freedom from her hutch in our backyard (there's some overgrown brussel sprouts she munched on in the back) for about 6 hours.
I spend my mornings at the pre-school. Most of the kids are 4, some are 5. I really like making little books, encouraging them to draw and write some letters or words, or they can dictate to me. The block area is always very popular. It's fun to listen to the imaginative stories they create. Last week, we got a new toilet in the bathroom, and some of the children built a toilet out of the blocks! I thought it was quite funny.
I came across this artist: http://thejuzzard.blogspot.com
The robots and crocheted characters are just delightful! Yes, I've been crocheting. I made a blue and white striped thing for our lamp post in the front yard. I plan on doing more...just for fun.

And one last thing...quite important too. Tomorrow is Nov 24th...our wedding anniversary! I have a wonderful husband. Thank you, God, for giving me someone who is so good to me and is a great father. Last night, Hannah was sick, fever and throwing up...Rob got up and helped her, so did I, but it's sure nice to be a team to care for our children together.

November 16, 2009

Crocheting...and knit graffiti?

I'm making wrist warmers...
...and shawls for gifts. Simple. Homemade. The yarn is usually $2.99 for a 100 gram skein of this 100% cotton yarn at Hobby Lobby, it was on sale last week for just $1.99. I used 2 skeins, the fringe took up a lot! Hannah helped me do the fringe Saturday afternoon. So fun to work on a project together.
I'm learning how to knit better. Just practicing my "continental style" of knitting...think that will be good...I really want to make that hat, but need to perfect my knitting first. I have double pointed needles....already knit a hat...alas, used for teddy bears...
Most of my knitted items are random sizes, rectangles...whatever. So, I'm going to start KNITTA here in Cincinnati...anyone want to join me?

P.S. Go check out their main website above & this flickr photostream....Magda led a project to cover a city bus in Mexico...mostly crocheted items! So cool.

November 9, 2009

Looking forward...


I want to get a pair of quality leather boots, to play in the snow and go sledding...but that I could wear with pants or a skirt...any suggestions? I'm really looking forward to winter!!! The zoo always had an awesome "Festival of Lights."
Beautiful red berries by the train station at the Cincinnati Zoo.Four tiger cubs were born on March 21st...they're getting so big! We had a great time watching them, as their mother cleaned them and they playfully batted her with their huge paws. It was a beautiful, sunny and warm (70'F) weekend!
One of the best things about the zoo is this awesome tree. God made this natural jungle gym...for birds, squirrels and little girls to climb.
I came home from work and found this. In case it's hard for you to read, it says "by Olivia to Mom." I love it. Now, I'm going to crochet, while the girls are in karate class. I'm making a shawl for Hannah!

November 6, 2009

Yesterday

6:30am: I woke up, as usual, said prayers, ate breakfast, then started homeschooling with the girls.
8:30am: I left for work and had fun with 20 four-year-olds (who drew with chalk on dark paper, for the art activity, my fav time of the day). Left there promptly at 12:15. Ate a cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwich in the car...had my trusty waterbottle from Susanna.
12:30pm: I had an exam in my class at Cincinnati State (community college)
2:30pm: Rob left for work and we left for piano lessons, stopped by the bank real quick.
3:00pm: Hannah had piano lessons, while Olivia and I walked to a nearby park, it was sunny, I went on the swings with her (she pumps really well and went HIGH), sang "Sticky bubblegum" until I could see she had to go to the bathroom. Ate some cookies at Fr Pavel and Matushka Bethany's house. I admired the bonnets she's knitting.
4:30pm: We went to Hobby Lobby and I bought some 100% cotton yarn. Listened to "Let it Be" by the Beatles in the car with the girls...love that song!5:00pm: Dinner at Magdalena's house (chicken in mushroom sauce, homemade mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese, applesauce, Italian soda, and brownies with ice cream, whipped cream and cherries for dessert)...sumptuous!!! I heard about the Ft. Hood, TX shootings. May God help the victims and their families. Sad and scary...what is the world coming to?
7:00pm: We started putting together her Mission style coffeetable.
8:00pm: Helped Magdalena upload some photos. Look at this cute one of her from way back when...
9:30pm: Home. Brushed teeth, put on pajamas. Hit the sack.
***

I really want to keep the time the SAME. No more time changes!!!

Tuesday evening...we went to a birthday party for a little friend from church, Micheal...it was very nice!

November 2, 2009

Unanswered prayers

There's a country song that goes "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers..."by Garth Brooks. Yeah, there are times I've asked God for something and not understood why He wouldn't help me, but He knows why...we have to trust in God.
Licking the beaters...I made whipped cream (got thick cream from local Snowville Creamery) to go on our pumpkin pie. Absolutely scrumptious!We have been studying Egypt this past week. Above, you'll see Olivia's relief carving...like the relief carvings you'll see inside many of the pyramids. She decided to make a lion head on a horse body with wings!
Rob is reading Tut's Mummy to Olivia. It's a great book, pretty simple, but goes into some detail, with photos and drawings showing how the excavated the tombs. Lots of great questions have spurred since, and we discussed that Jesus Christ came later and taught the people about what will really happen in their afterlife!

October 30, 2009

Look whose in the shop...

Exactly a week ago I had a car accident. Shook me up, emotionally, but no one was hurt!
Although I don't want to admit I may have been going too fast (25 MPH) for the rain, it hadn't rained in a while and I think the road was exceptionally slippery on the ramp to I-71. It was scary. The 4Runner is now being fixed. See how the front and back ends were banged in?We found a praying mantis by our back door. We've been watching him for a few days now. He was sitting a top our ladder this afternoon. Big fella, eh?
I made some pumpkin flan (click to get the recipe). Hannah wasn't crazy about it, nor was Olivia or Rob. I loved it though. I invited Magdalena over for a piece! Good company makes the food better!!!
Hannah drew this nice picture of the owl and I like the googly-eyes she added. I'm not looking forward to the time change. Arg! I really wish everyone just kept things the same all the time! I would go against the flow, but I have to be to work on time, appointments (going to the dentist on Monday afternoon) and church!

October 26, 2009

Thoughts from me...

Most of you know we don't celebrate Halloween. Sure, we love pumpkins...Olivia recently guessed "69 pounds" for the weight of a HUGE one outside Trader Joe's (if she is right, we win it). Oh boy. Lots of pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin flan, pumpkin soup, etc. Anyhow, I know it's fun to dress-up and eat candy, but why when we claim to be Christian? Halloween is a pagan holiday. I love how this friend of mine put it. So, although most Americans think it's pure fun, we'll stand out and do what we think is right. Our girls don't need that corn syrup and artificial colored junk, anyhow.
Yep, that's me, in 1986, my fourth grade school photo. We went to Neshobe Elementary in Brandon, Vermont.
I've been looking back at old photos...here we are, an Army family, living in Ft Stewart, Georgia, preparing to say goodbye to our soldier, who was headed to Baghdad. Life has changed a lot for us in a few years. The girls were just 2 and 4 then...they look so little!
Hannah and her Peepaw. Olivia has started affectionately to call him "Peepod." They call my mom Grandma and "Grammie Whammie" too.
Last week, I got the Nov 2009 issue of Gourmet, which unfortunately is going to be their last! I am so disappointed. It's a great magazine, delving into the farms, where the good food originates, then giving you divine recipes to try. I enjoy their lavish photos, with personal touches, like mis-matched fine china, hand crocheted lace or a rough hewn table. I'll really miss that...

October 19, 2009

Puppet show

You'll probably want to turn off the music in the sidebar (scroll down)...to hear the words...this is officially an "out-take" but towards the end...makes me laugh! video

October 17, 2009

Walking on the tracks

We sorta had a race on the tracks...it's very hard, like a balance beam, but fun for just 2.
Olivia was in karate class while I took Hannah's photos.
Neat arrow, but the morning sun was so strong!
Outside a beauty shop...the ladies inside looked at us and then smiled.
We're preparing...harvesting the last of our sweet potatoes, carrots and the tomatoes. Lots of green ones that might die in the frost, hoping they'll ripen up by the window, or else I'm going to have to make fried green tomatoes! Rob put the down comforter on our bed and started using the wood burning stove this week. He's going to split some wood this afternoon.