December 30, 2011


Simple and scrumptious...
Rob's mom gave us a bunch of mini candy canes...and I bought a bag of chocolate chips from Trader Joe's...we melted them in a glass dish in the microwave for 1 minute, stirred and then began to fill in the hearts. Minty chocolate sweets after dinner last night!
(see Lusy coming into the kitchen, checking out the scene)
Thank YOU for the idea!

December 28, 2011

Sewing lesson with an 8 year old...

When a button falls off, you can simply sew it back on, if you know how to sew. It's really quite simple, I think it should be taught at age 4 or 5 to all children, using:
  • felt
  • embroidery floss
  • a large blunt-tip needle (NOT plastic, the tip bends easily, making it frustrating)
  • scissors (let them make free form shapes)
  • buttons or beads
  • lace (it's easy to get the needle through)
I taught Hannah to sew using a sewing machine just after she turned 9. She has been sewing quite a bit this past week...making pillows. I thought it was time to show Olivia how to use it, too. She pressed the pedal hard when I said to put the foot down, I meant "put the foot down on the fabric" not her foot on the pedal. Laughing and learning... Olivia sewed a small pillow yesterday...her first project! We need more stuffing. I would like to get something besides the polyester fill available at most stores...any suggestions on where to get a soft natural fill?

December 26, 2011

Western Christmas

We celebrated Christmas (which we call Western Christmas) with my husband's family yesterday, Sunday Dec. 25th. Rob's grandma here is 83. His other grandma is 101...both are doing okay, using their walkers to get around.We opened all of our gifts in the morning and then went to church. Hannah got 2 new dresses for her 18" doll, meet Jessica Ann. Olivia got Tintin books and a wood mannikin. I gave Rob a pair of leather slippers from LLBean and he got me fabric to sew with...We will celebrate the Nativity of Christ with my family on January 7th (which IS Dec. 25th on the old calendar).
9:30am Saturday we got to the ski slopes in Indiana. We stayed until they closed at 4:30pm, taking a break at 12noon to eat the lunch we packed (smoked salmon, bread, clementines). Walking in ski boots is so hard!

The best gift we had was spending time together!

December 23, 2011

6 years ago

Rob joined the Army a month after September 11, 2001...and left for basic training that November. Hannah was a baby then, but we were really struggling financially (we both got bachelors degrees in fine arts), so this seemed "right" for us in so many ways. It was something to do for a steady income and after the attacks on our country, Rob really wanted to help America in some way. This place we love...and call home.

We moved May 2002 to Fort Stewart, January 2003 Rob left for Kuwait and then drove in his tank to Iraq. I didn't hear anything for him for a month...he was on his way to Baghdad...had some serious missions. We found out I was pregnant with our 2nd daughter just before he left. It was a very emotional time for me, but I had a good support network, made lots of friends since we lived on-post, and my parents came down to help out a week before Olivia was born. We were very fortunate that his captain let him leave, we really didn't know what was happening...and he came home just a week before Olivia arrived!
Then, he went back to Iraq in January 2005. He came home Dec. 23, 2005 for good!!! Hannah was 4 and Olivia was 2. He told us of his days in the hot dry desert, the sand in everything, working hard as a track vehicle mechanic, waiting to come home. His 4 year contract with the Army was up. So glad to have him home!
I just finished reading this book that my friend, Charlotte, gave excellent, sad, yet moving and hopeful story of a boy from Afghanistan. It's based on a true story! The kindness of strangers is a blessing...

As Abraham and Sarah entertained strangers long ago...

December 21, 2011

Kitten adventures while homeschooling...

We're trying to wrap up our homeschooling we can take a few days off. Our kitten, Velvet, however provides some distraction. Notice how Hannah and Olivia have gotten good at ignoring her while trying to work on their lessons...I love how she perches atop the back of the chair! It gives her the best viewing spot out the window...and Lusy also likes to look out there, too.

Lusy has graciously started sharing her bed with Velvet. I hope for some snow! We have been planning on going skiing Saturday December 24th.

* * * * *

"Wise men still seek Him."

May you all have a wonderful Christmas! We are celebrating with some family this weekend, but will mainly celebrate the Nativity of Christ on January 7th since we are Orthodox Christians.

I love this time of year! Mostly for the simple moments, a cup of tea on a cold day! The sun peaking out behind the clouds...and getting to spend time with those we love the most!

December 14, 2011

Yarn along...I'm blessed!

I think Clementine was looking at Nutmeg in a curious way, that made her self conscious...I crocheted a shawl out of some gray wool I got in either New Mexico or Arizona this summer. Unfortunately, she didn't like it, and tried to get it off and got her foot stuck in I helped her out.

Follow the yarn along here:

Last night, I finished a wonderful book, Angelina's Bachelors, filled with wonderful recipes and a tender story...that made me realize how blessed I am indeed, to have a husband and 2 children...and 4 pets, and this one (in the photo above) is laying eggs!

December 12, 2011

Timer photos....

Setting up the timer and taking a family photo...
We wanted to have Lusy and Velvet in the picture...thought about having Clementine and Nutmeg in the picture, too, but it would be too much to get all 8 looking at the camera smiling...without us looking frazzled. All of our pets get along nicely, though.Now, which one do you think we should use for a Christmas card? I'm thinking about cropping one of them (I don't want our shoes in it).

December 7, 2011

Beautiful mosaics...

Yesterday I went to a Greek church for their Saint Nicholas day service. I have been there before (for the funeral of my friend's Irene's mother last year and for their festival). I got to spend more time inside the church after the service and took some photos...A woman donated $500,000 to have the mosaics of Jesus, Mary and the 4 evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke John) along with numerous other a team from Italy came in and worked on it for 5 months, the result is breath-taking...the photos don't do it justice, as you can't see the gold glittering, looking like stars, as it may appear in heaven. St. Barbara (my mom's patron saint), St. Theodore (my sister is probably going to name her baby Theodore when he is born, due next month) and St. Paraskeva, above.
And there are also stained glass windows, which are very nice, my favorite little one was this (rooster or hen, I'm not sure)...My cousin, Zoya, posted this picture of a chicken from Shelburne, Vermont...and I had to share it, too...was a cute sweater, I wonder how long the chicken wore it. Shall I knit or crochet a shawl for my 2 chickens?