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November 28, 2010

Checking the mailbox?

As soon as I come home from work, I check the mailbox. Getting mail is a simple thing that give me joy...especially at this time of year. My favorite kinds of Christmas cards are the ones with photos of friends and family! Photos with pretty scalloped edges, fancy cursive and festive colors...I love the designs of these Shuttefly cards. I would scrapbook and send homemade cards, but these are just so much easier...and so cute.
The cards above are just $1.39 right now if I order 30 for a 5x7 card and envelope. How many cards do you send out this time of year?
Want 50 FREE Christmas cards? Share the awesome things Shutterfly has to offer. For more details, check this out:
http://blog.shutterfly.com/5358/holiday2010-blog-submission-form/Isn't that a cute photo...the yellow fire hydrant and snow!
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We got snow the day after Thanksgiving here...just a little, but so pretty. I just love love love snow.There are so many pretty Shutterfly card designs to choose from...which one would you pick?

November 22, 2010

Brookville Wednesdays...and chopping wood!

Rob took the girls to Brookville, IN again a couple days ago, while I was at work. It about an hour away. It's a HUGE outdoor flea market. They usually buy Amish cheese and lots of vegetables, such great prices, it's worth the trip. He got a dozen brown eggs for $2.25. He bought lots of sweet potatoes and 50 lbs. of red potatoes too. We'll store them in the basement. I walk in the door to smell cabbage and cauliflower cooking. Gas alert! Then, Hannah and Olivia excitedly show me the knitting needles he bought for them, just 50 cents a pair!Lots of hard work. I carried several heavy logs to the trailer...oh, man. I don't know how Rob has the strength to do it...50 to 100 pound pieces of wood. I guess this one below was 200 pounds, which we'll cut up. He paid $150 for all the wood and it's probably about 6 cords...what a deal. It will heat our home for about 2 winters. I love our woodstove!
We counted about 80 rings...but the man who sold us the wood, said he thought it was about 150 years old...what do you think? How old does it look?
Olivia counting the rings on the oak tree. Rob wants to save a big slice of the tree to make a table with...

November 17, 2010

Ginger pastry for a pumpkin pie...

My parents gave us a subscription for Organic Gardening and the most recent issue (December 2010/January 2011) is wonderful...especially because of the article on the Holm girl's dairy, an organic farm. I read with interest about this family who also home-schools...you might enjoy it, too. And I'm going to use their recipe for ginger pastry on page 45 to make my pumpkin pies in...(click on the link above to see all of their recipes)I taught Olivia how to cast-on and knit...she's very excited and proud of her work so far. Rob was trying to help her... I love that laughter!I found her making a book later...she initially wrote "Niting fun," and I told her about the silent "K" at the beginning...and should tell her to double the "t" but didn't want to correct every little detail...I really like how she drew the knitting needles.Baby's house by Mary Blair...what a cozy home...fireplace, knitting and reading. Feels like my home.Raking, jumping and piling the leaves on the mini-merry-go-round...then, we ate cheese, crackers, carrots, apples and pear cinnamon cider from Trader Joe's...a perfect fall afternoon with friends.

November 12, 2010

Reading & cooking...

I like this book by Cathryn Falwell...she does some beautiful cut paper/fabric artwork...textures and patterns that make it seem so real. The family helps each other out, being together. This book is currently on our bookshelf at school. This week, at the school where I work, we had parent-teacher conferences.
I just finished this fictional book...a bit like Little House on the Prairie but with more troubles, sorrow, dishonesty, moral questions, and spiritual undertones. Uplifting and full of hope...in the end.
Olivia drew Daddy and herself. I read some folk tales with her early this morning...

My 9 year old, Hannah, chopped up a whole head of cabbage so that we could make borscht. This afternoon, the 2 of us went on a bike ride together.

Then, a friend came over and we ate dinner together, read stories aloud and crocheted...

Check out this link to 5 book give-aways!

November 8, 2010

Hope...

...that they will ripen inside on our windowsills.

Or else, we'll be making this:
Old Fashioned Sweet Green Tomato Pie
(a friend of mine made one a couple of weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised with the taste!)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
  • 4 cups finely chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Make the pie crust and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough in half. Place 1 piece of the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to an 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the crust with scissors or a sharp knife to within 1/2-inch of the outer rim.

In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture across the bottom of the prepared piecrust.

Add the tomatoes and lemon juice to the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss to coat. Spoon the tomato mixture into the pie shell, and dot with the butter.
Roll out the remaining crust on a lightly floured surface. Place on top of the tomato filling and tuck the overlapping crusts into the pan, forming a thick edge. Crimp the edges to seal and cut small 1/2-inch long vents in a decorative pattern along the top crust. With a pastry brush, brush the top of the crust with the cream, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie.
Rob's been busy getting wood and splitting it...the girls and I have been helping stack it. We've been keeping our woodstove busy.
Look at the gourds we grew in the backyard...Rob's going to make them into bird houses by making a hole in one side!

November 5, 2010

Mark 9:23

"All things are possible to him that believeth."

It felt good to get up early Tuesday Nov. 2, walk down the street in the dark and look up to see the moon waning into a thin fingernail shape, then the constellation Orion at 7 o'clock. I voted. I am happy with the results, too. I do love America.
For a chance to win this book, enter Jane's giveaway here. You may end up wanting to buy this book for yourself or a little child you know. Jane is an Orthodox Christian. She also wrote "The Woman and the Wheat."
Isn't this just such a pretty sweater? Knit sideways, mostly... I am a crochet girl, though. Hannah, Olivia & I went to a local yarn shop and had a great time talking with the folks there, who sat around an inviting table, needles working, talking of shawls, socks, scarves, etc.

November 1, 2010

Karate, caterpillar and don't forget to vote!!!

A few months ago Olivia got a green t-shirt for completing a challenge in karate class. Hannah was just awarded this orange t-shirt! She has been working really hard lately. Here's a video of her doing her kata:
video
Their sensei is on his way to Okinawa right now. He and several other blackbelts from our school are going to be there for 2 weeks!
Look what a found in our garden, while pulling out carrots last week:
It's going to turn into a beautiful black swallowtail butterfly! I'm hoping it made it...being so late in the year, it's been pretty cold, in the 40s and 30s at night.

P.S. I did NOT take that photo...wish I did go get my camera. Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Swallowtail_Papilio_polyxenes_Closeup.jpg

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I hope you are going to make time to go and vote tomorrow!