November 30, 2011
What are you reading and working on (a crochet or knit project with yarn)? Follow the yarn along here with Ginny.
Last night, we got our first real snowfall...it was so pretty, but sadly has melted this morning. Hannah and Olivia put on their snowpants and went outside to play, jumped on the trampoline (there's still a small pile of snow there, actually), slid down the snow-covered slide, it was really wet. Olivia made snowballs and threw them at our house.
(I wish I'd taken some pictures)
November 28, 2011
Every morning from now til then, we'll unwrap and read a book together. I added more books to our collection (thanks to our local library, we'll read those ones first). One of my favorites is Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman. Have you read that one? It's about a little mouse who lives in a house and finds a nice bed (in the manger they have set up). Mortimer takes the baby out of the manger and sleeps there...when he hears the family reading the story of Jesus, how He didn't have a place to sleep, he decided it was better for the baby Jesus to sleep there and he would find another bed...and that's when he finds the gingerbread house!
Hannah got 2 ukulele lessons...one from my aunt and one from Anthony (both of them are awesome guitar players). She can play the chords for "How much is that doggie in the window?" "Somewhere over the rainbow" and "Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow." Olivia is also learning how to play, now. Here she is playing the C chord. So, now I'm looking for a good ukulele lesson book. Any suggestions?
November 23, 2011
I've been crocheting more circles...
Follow Ginny on her lovely blog (lately we've been picking carrots out of our garden, too, that's really all that's left) & see what others are making at the yarn along here.
November 21, 2011
Saturday my husband found 3 eggs in the straw nesting area...I'm pretty sure it was Nutmeg the Rhode Island Red because she's a little bigger and the eggs were brown. Clementine is the Ameraucana and will lay greenish-blue eggs. Later, Hannah went out and discovered another egg. This morning, Olivia took our dog, Lusy, outside and found another egg! We ate them this morning over-easy with toast and butter. Mmmm.
November 18, 2011
- The Story of the Nativity of Christ by Vesna Nikchevich is a longer story that used very beautiful iconic drawings to illustrate the story. One of my very favorites! Good for my children (ages 8 and 10).
- Little Porcupine's Christmas by Joseph Slate, a very sweet story about animals celebrating the birth of Christ by putting on a play called "Baby in the Manger" and the porcupine who feels left out, until they decide they need a star (he climbs to the top of the tree and rolls up like a ball).
- The Best Christmas Present Ever by Richard Scarry is wonderful, for his illustrations and story, of children getting presents, and then seeing Huckle's new baby sister (THAT is the best present)!
- Christmas Joy compiled by Skip Skwarek, which is full of recipes, songs, poems and stories with beautiful illustrations.
- Niko Chocheli's Prepare O Bethlehem because all the Orthodox church hymns are used throughout the book, the drawings are a bit dark and artistic, so a younger child may think they are a bit scary.
- Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto reminds me of our summer trip to New Mexico and Arizona, cute story and a cultural experience...if you've never made masa for tamales, maybe after the feast you could plan a day to try to make them!
- Leo Tolstoy's Philipok is illustrated by Gennady Spirin is not a Christmas theme book, but a book about a little boy who walks through the snow to school. Gorgeous drawings of the town, church and people!!!
- I included a Christmas carol book that has several songs like "Silent Night" and "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing," some traditional songs that talk about the birth of Christ. We love to sing together!
Why do I like it? It doesn't require cream of tartar (which can be expensive). It's a pretty color. It has a great (yet artificial) smell. So...here's the recipe:
*1 cup flour
*1/2 cup salt
*3 tablespoons oil
*1 package of Kool-Aid (any flavor)
*1 cup boiling water
Mix well and knead. Store in an air tight container and it will last for weeks!!!
November 16, 2011
I'm crocheting a circle blanket...and reading Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads book...I'm learning so much about "proofing" (that you can let your bread rise for 1 to 12 hours) and that your dough should be tacky or sticky. I confess when I make a yeast bread, I want to knead it and keep adding flour until it doesn't stick to my hands. Uh oh.
And I've been making lots of cards. Visit my etsy shop to see more of them!
November 14, 2011
Please keep my dad (Paul) in your prayers, he has had a difficult week, voice therapy 3x a week and medication issues...no pattern evident, so no one knows how to find the perfect balance.
* I love that he always smiles, even though he doesn't feel good.
November 9, 2011
- The 2 chickens are doing well...they love foraging around our compost and what's left in the garden (not much). Not laying eggs, yet, we're thinking they probably won't lay until spring.
- At 8 o'clock yesterday morning I walked down the street with Olivia to vote. I tried to explain the issues that I was voting for and why they are important. My sister, Susanna, wrote on her blog about politics, too. We're both health-conscious, true conservatives who want freedom!
- Our girls can take their homeschooling lesson outside...yesterday was a sunny and warm day...we were barefoot almost all day.
- I worked outside on my papier mache birds, a warm breeze blowing my bits of newspaper all over the deck...
- Lusy (our dog) and Velvet (our kitten...we got from an Amish family) are making friends. No fights, but Velvet hissed at Lusy quite a bit at first...they seem to keep out of each others way...yesterday they sniffed each other nose to nose a few times!
- I watched a squirrel perched atop our fence, debating whether or not he wanted to come in our yard...lots of sparrows.
- The leaves on our red oak seedlings that we got at the library a few years ago have turned a beautiful deep red.
- I thought of my friend Charlotte and baked a loaf of bread with rosemary that I picked from our backyard.
- I hung out clothes out on the line to dry...and I took some black and white pictures. Nostalgia.
- Hannah had piano lessons and I helped Olivia do flips off the swing. Then both the girls had Irish dance class in the evening...
November 7, 2011
Yesterday, we spent a few hours with my parents, raking leaves, jumping in them, hiding in them...and ended up staying for dinner. I wish I'd brought my camera. For those of you who have been following the story of my dad and his battle living with Parkinson's disease, he's been doing better lately. He went for a bike ride alone on Saturday, 2 miles...and was fine, until he came home, fell in the driveway, my mom said that the two next door neighbors rushed over to help him out...he gashed his forehead right by his eyebrow and really should probably get 5 stitches, but I'm sure he will heal, if there's a scar, it's one to be proud of... I admire him for riding his bicycle so much! I love to ride my bike, too.
November 2, 2011
Doesn't this Roasted Tomato Soup sound good?
- 6 cups (3 pints) cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 cup whipping cream
Heat the oven to 400°. On a baking sheet, combine the cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread them in a single layer. Roast the tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 35 to 45 minutes.
In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, the broth, the thyme, and the roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.
Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until it's smooth. Return it to the pot and stir in the cream. Without letting the soup boil, warm it over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Add salt and pepper, if necessary.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with Grilled-Cheese Croutons . Makes about 10 cups.