November 29, 2013

Ginger bread house

We worked together to assemble this kit that Rob's mom had given us:
Changed it up a bit, and got fancy with the icing...
Inspired by these beautiful gingerbread house stamps that we got earlier this week.

November 25, 2013

Little of this...and that!

Olivia with 2 of the girls from her class on 
Saturday morning...dress rehearsal for Irish dancing.
 Hannah and friends painting pottery Saturday afternoon.
It was so nice to have little Elizabeth
here, she loves the trampoline and swings!
 We call her Liza, pronounced like "Leeza."
 Sunday after church, we had an early Thanksgiving dinner 
at Grandpa and Grandma's house.  Brianna said "Shouldn't we tell
what we are thankful for?"  So, we took turns sharing...mostly, we are thankful for the people in our lives.  Olivia said she was thankful to have the ability to physically DO things.  We volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house recently.  We are in good health, thanks be to God.
There are many who are not.
 Liza helped me with the chickens.  We raked leaves 
at Peepaw and Grammie's house.
 Grammie and Liza...
The girls were trying to pull down that branch.  Sadly, I lost one of my
favorite earrings while helping with the leaves...
*update* I found my earring today while walking through
my parent's backyard!'s gotten cold here in Ohio.  
I hope we get some snow tonight.
What's the weather like where you are?

November 22, 2013

We gather together

We celebrated Thanksgiving early this year.  I made homemade rolls using "spent grain" from a local brewery.  All of my sisters were in town to celebrate the NEW church blessing last weekend.  I think my parents were very happy everyone could make it!

We sung this beautiful Dutch hymn together many times (reminds me of my grandmother, who passed away, she would play it on the piano):
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

 Olivia made me a new bracelet.
 We do not have a special loom, but used toothpicks and forks instead.
Elizabeth (that's my sister, Mary's daughter)and I one morning...  
We have had them at our house for over a week now and are enjoying their company.  My other sister, Andrea, and her 2 little boys flew back to Portland today.  We have all been sick (the stomach bug went through almost everyone) this week, but still had a nice time together.  ♥

November 18, 2013

Metropolitan's visit...

Girls greeted the bishops with rose petals...
My parents with my sister's 3 girls outside our new church!
This is Metropolitan Hilarion, a very kind and humble man:
He just got back from Puerto Rico, where there is an Orthodox mission.  It looks beautiful there. 
One of my long-time friends, Sarah, flew in from Florida...and my sister, came with her two boys from Oregon! 

The girls circle-dance from Martha Pavlovna on Vimeo.

The children danced after the luncheon.
More old friends (above, from Indiana, and below, from Massachusetts)...
And the children playing together on the newly purchased playground after Liturgy on Sunday:
It was a wonderful weekend!

November 11, 2013


 Hannah made a tiny origami crane using the teaberry gum wrapper. 
 Cookies with apricot jam.
We made maple leaf cookies and iced them with homemade icing made with carrot juice.
Got this pumpkin cheesecake to-go from Ruby Tuesday's yesterday, they gave 20% to the local Parkinson's Wellness Chapter. 

November 4, 2013

Pogo stick...

Olivia got pretty good at using the pogo stick at a friend's house and is now anxious to earn money to buy one for herself. 
We just took our dog for a walk and Olivia noticed a lot of leaves on the ground. A little business opportunity and lesson of her own...  So, she is currently making a poster, offering to rake leaves in your front yard for $5:

November 1, 2013

Cranberry and rosemary muffins

We got a bag of fresh cranberries (one of these days I'm going to go see a cranberry bog in Wisconsin or Maine). Last year we used a needle and thread and strung fresh cranberries and popcorn together and hung the garland outside in the tree for the birds and squirrels.  It was fun to watch them nibble away.
I made cranberry muffins and since we have a flourishing rosemary (which stayed out all winter last year, and here in Ohio, it was such a mild winter that it survived), I decided to add some to it.  I ♥ rosemary.  It was an awesome flavor combination.  So here's the recipe:
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups cranberries
1 or 2 sprigs of rosemary (remove green "leaves" from woody stem)
Preheat oven to 400'F.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make well in the center of the dry mixture and add the milk, egg, butter, cranberries and rosemary, stirring until just moistened, batter will be lumpy.  Put liners into 12-cup muffin tin.  Scoop batter into cups (a little over half full), you may want to sprinkle sugar on top, too.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Enjoy.  I like to eat them with cream cheese.