I thought it would be fun to make a slide show of photos from 2008 and pick one from each month of the year. Summertime got a little tough because I had so many to choose from. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the things we saw and did over 2008. Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
The more I see, the less I know,
The more I like to let it go -- hey oh, whoa ...
Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder
Where it's so white as snow.
But not to worry, Nathan got him back good ...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Take me to your leader ...
Saturday, December 27, 2008
A White Christmas!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Thoroughly mix butter and sugar. Blend in egg and vanilla and combine until fluffy. Stir together flour, soda and cream of tartar. Add to butter mixture. Cover and chill one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough until approximately 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut out desired shapes. Place on baking sheet and bake approximately 6 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown. Remove and coll on racks. Makes about 4-dozen cookies.
SUGAR COOKIE ICING GLAZE
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons white Karo syrup
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- colored sugars (optional)
Combine all ingredients together until lumps disappear. You may tint glaze with a drop or two of food coloring. Dip tops of cooled cookies into glaze and wipe off excess. Sprinkle with colored sugars, if desired. This glaze dries fairly hard, so cookies are easy to wrap or stack.
If you like Rum Balls, check out Sharon's blog by clicking here. Yum!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Outside lights ...
This last one is a little blurry, but it was below zero when I took it, so I didn't feel like spending a whole lot of time out there fiddling with my camera. But this is how the house looks at night.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
- Coffee -- I only drink 1-2 cups a day, but crave it.
- Chocolate -- especially super dark chocolate.
- Computers -- I rely on them too much.
- Crock-pots -- if I can crock it, I can cook it.
- Collections -- I collect way too much crud.
I need to pass this award onto 5 people that I feel have fabulous blogs. I think a lot of people have fabulous blogs, but I can only include 5 of them. I would like to give this award to --
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sweet Smell of Christmas
Friday, December 19, 2008
Bananas don't dance.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Can you knit?
However, it's a silly sight to see a grown woman playing with her 1974 knitting toy. I get razzed about it all the time. I've seen newer knitting machine toys, but I still like my old one. I don't think they were meant to be worked so hard, so it probably won't last forever. I'll have to decide to replace it with another original or go for a newer model. The other day I found this really cool yarn at Walmart. It was red, pink and white. It reminded me of a candy cane, so I got some to make a scarf. Turns out, the skein wasn't long enough so I had to go back for more. I wasn't sure if I could tie the ends together, but I gave it a try. It didn't like going over the knot very well, but it worked. I got the whole scarf done and sat it down on the floor in my room. All I had left to do was remove it from the machine and tie up the ends. A few hours later I come up to do it and noticed it was all jacked up. Someone had turned the crank backwards. Rick tried to blame it on the cat, but it turns out it was Nathan. He apologized after the discovery was made, but I don't know if he was going to tell me on his own. So, I had to rip the whole thing out and start it all over again. I think he knows not to play with MY toys now. I would still love to learn how to knit for real someday. In the meantime, I'll have to settle for my ridiculous little toy.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- Fruitcake isn't as horrible as people say it is.
- Fruitcake is expensive. My single slice cost $7.49.
- My cat likes fruitcake -- who knew?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Honest Scrap!
- I am very honest and don't like lying.
- I feel guilty if I accidently cut someone off in my car.
- I failed my driving test the first time.
- I got a ticket for speeding once.
- I am conservative and very old-fashioned.
- I read Ann Coulter's books.
- I was with a girl who shoplifted and we got caught.
- I don't like having my picture taken.
- I don't like crude humor in kid's movies.
- I know how painful it is to lose a pet.
The following list are those I feel are deserving of this award. They're people who aren't afraid to say it how they see it, those who tell the Honest Scrap. I know a lot of people who deserve this, but I can only list 7 of them --
You can use the Honest Scrap Award logo on your blog, providing you follow the guidelines and list 10 honest things about yourself and nominate 7 other bloggers. Have fun, be honest and keep telling it like it is!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Carol of the Bells
As some of you know, "Carol of the Bells" is my all-time favorite Christmas song. I love it so much that I actually collect this song. I have over 30 versions of it on a playlist on my iPod. Each one is totally different and I have it done with bells, piano, jazz, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harp, violin, fiddle, harmonica, kids, surf, rap, babies, even cats and dogs! I've heard some of Straight No Chaser before, but recently my friend Nancy showed me this video clip. I knew I had to have it and add it to my collection. Isn't it awesome? Rick bought the entire CD from iTunes and all of their songs are amazing. Check them out, if you haven't already. "Carol of the Bells" is a beautiful song and it has been done in so many interesting ways. If you ever hear any good ones, please keep me in mind because I'm always looking to add to my collection. Thanks!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Three Nativities --
It's -7 degrees right now and I think our high for the day is going to be -2. I guess it will be a good day to stay home, fire up the woodstove and throw something in the crock-pot. We had to go into town yesterday and it was 3 degrees at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Just walking from Target to the car was an experience. As you know, all this is new to me, so I had fun being out for a short time. People are telling us we haven't had an extreme winter here since 1997, so I'm curious when the next big one will be. Anyway, I think today is a good day to stay inside, drink some coffee and maybe get some things done around here. I might even knit a scarf -- kinda, sorta, maybe.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Oh, and since I've been posting about some of the crafts the kids have made, I thought I'd put up a picture of what they did yesterday. We traced their hands on black foam and then they glued cotton balls on them to make little lamb ornaments. We added a loop of ribbon and they look really cute hanging on the Christmas tree. It's a good thing we have a 9 foot tall Christmas tree to fit all these ornaments. If we keep at it, I might have to start looking around for a taller one. We have about another foot we can go in the corner of the room. If we were to put the tree in the center of our great room, we could probably fit a 15 foot tall tree at least. I made 4 more angels out of recycled Christmas cards last night, so I just might have to find a taller tree!
Friday, December 12, 2008
More crafts ...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Are you crafty?
This other picture is of me taken sometime in the 70s. Even though I'm painting eggs here, I'm sure this was a Christmas project. I remember having this awesome Christmas craft book that had all sorts of fun projects. One of them was to blow out the inside of eggs and paint them into Christmas ornaments. I think that's what I'm doing here and I'd guess that was the book behind me on the couch. I've searched for that book online, but haven't been able to find it. I remember doing so many fun projects. I'd love to find an old copy of it, but I can't remember the name. I always loved doing crafts, whether it be in school or at home. I remember Christmas fondly because I kept myself busy making crafts. Today the boys are making peace doves and tomorrow they'll make handprint lambs. Then after school we're heading to the library to drop off some books and then over to Joann's Crafts. I found a handful of old Christmas cards the other day and I want to get more beads to turn them into little angel ornaments. Tis the Season to be Crafty!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I made a slideshow of some of the snow pictures I've taken. Most are from Montana, but there are a few from places like Yellowstone along with some others. We only have a slight dusting of snow at our house right now, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time before more comes. It's supposed to be -2 on Sunday. Three pictures to look out for are kind of interesting. The one of the little squirrel with snow on his back and the one of the road with all the green leafy trees bent over were taken in June. We got about 6 inches of snow dumped on us this summer. The trees had their leaves again and they were snapping left and right from the weight. We couldn't even get out of our road without having to plow through broken limbs. The third picture shows what looks like a mound of snow with a car next to it. That's a motel inside Glacier National Park! The snow gets so deep there that the motel was buried. Ironically, it's in an area in the park that gets the least snow!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Do you ski?
Monday, December 8, 2008
- 2-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
In a 2-quart saucepan mix sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water. Cook and stir over medium high heat to boiling. Clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook on medium heat without stirring to 260 degrees, hard-ball stage (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and remove thermometer. In a large bowl, beat egg white with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peeks form and the tips stand straight up. Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream over whites, beating on high speed for about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to beat on high just until candy starts to lose its gloss. When the beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon onto itself. This last beating should take about 5-6 minutes. Drop a spoonful onto waxed paper. If it stays in a mound, the mixture has been beaten good enough. If it flattens out, beat for another minute and test again. When it's ready, quickly stir in the nuts to the remaining mixture. Use a spoon to drop the mixture onto waxed paper and let cool. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 40 pieces.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We made these ornaments a few years ago. I painted the boys' hands with white paint and then pressed them onto the ornaments. I think at the time, they were still pretty young to do the faces, so I did them myself. They're older now and could probably take on the entire project. I trimmed them with holiday ribbon and enclosed this poem --
These aren't just five snowmen, as anyone can see.
I made them with my hand, which is a part of me.
Now each year when you trim the tree,
You'll look back and recall, Christmas of 2005,
When my hand was this small.
Another fun thing for Christmas is the book The Three Bears' Christmas. Neil checked this one out of the library recently. When we read it the other day, we were delighted to find it was written in the style of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It's written by Kathy Duval and illustrated by Paul Meisel and published by Holiday House. It's a cute story where Mama Bear bakes gingerbread bears for her family, but they're too hot, so they decide to go for a walk. When they return, they discover someone's been in their house, eaten their cookies, sat in their chairs and has left clothes all over the place. It's a fun twist to a classic story and a great book for the holidays. Amazon has used copies starting at 99 cents, or you can ask for it at your local bookseller or library. The boys and I love retellings like these. My upcoming book, The Marshmallow Man is a retelling of a famous story too.
Also, one last thing for today -- yesterday I received a contract from Highlights for Children magazine. I had sent them two craft projects and they accepted one for purchase. It's a Halloween type craft, so I imagine it won't be featured in the magazine for awhile. It's a simple craft that any child can do and it doesn't use anything fancy to make. It's my first craft sale, and my first sale to Highlights for that matter, so I was pretty excited about it.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I made a slideshow of my nativity collection. I have over 50 sets and that doesn't include all of my nativity ornaments. I keep my nativity ornaments on a 3' tree and I hope to get pictures of them this year. These are my other sets. Some are tiny, others are big and a few are handmade. I've been collecting nativities for years. One of my favorite ones is the blue triangle shaped one that my daughter painted on a rock for me. I don't go for the real expensive sets, which makes collecting them a lot more fun. I saw one at Ross the other day and now that I've got my sets out again, I'm thinking I might have to go back and get it. I only put them out at Christmas and since I have so many, they're everywhere. I put most of them on my windowsills. That's one good thing about having a great room with many windows.
I have also been tagged by Adrienne to answer the One Word challenge, so here are my answers to that. I'm not sure who to tag, so I'll leave it open to anyone who wants to do this on their blog as well.
- Where is your cell phone? Purse
- Where is your significant other? Work
- Your hair color? Brown
- Your mother? Convalescent
- Your father? Deceased
- Your favorite thing? iPod
- Your dream last night? Deer
- Your dream/goal? Published
- The room you're in? Bedroom
- Your hobby? Photography
- Your fear? Worms
- Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
- Where were you last night? Home
- What you're not? Asleep
- One of your wish-list items? Book
- Where you grew up? Ojai
- Last thing you did? Upload
- What are you wearing? Jammies
- Your TV? New
- Your pet? Sleeping
- Your computer? Sony
- Your mood? Cranky
- Missing someone? Yes
- Your car? Wrangler
- Something you're not wearing? Socks
- Favorite store? Crowded
- Your summer? Kayaks
- Love someone? Yes
- Your favorite color? Blue
- When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
- Last time you cried? Writing
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Poor Neil ...
Friday, November 28, 2008
Day of Discovery ...
The other big discovery for me yesterday was NaNaWriMo. I did it! I wrote 50,000 words in less than 30 days. I even had 3 days to spare. When I first began this project, I thought there was no way I could make that word count. I have only written picture books that range from 500 to 1000 words. The only exception was my one middle grade novel, which topped at 10,600 words. I thought there would be no way I could reach 50,000 words, but I did it. I received my winners web badges and printed up my certificate from NaNaWriMo, so that was cool and gave me a sense of accomplishment. Of course, the manuscript is long and drawn out and rambles, but with time I hope to clean it up and make it presentable. Just being able to reach my goal was a big discovery for me. And finally, the day before yesterday I began working on my upcoming website. Just getting this started and learning how to use the program was a discovery in itself. I hope to have the site up soon.