Friday, December 20, 2013

Post # 22 - Just keepin' in real

I grew up a little bit today.

Going through the Facebook news feed earlier I saw several people defending free speech and others arguing for the sake of arguing, some people with sick kiddos, some funny ecards, someone who posted repeatedly about petty stuff, and someone who is struggling with voices (real or imaginary) who tell them they aren't good enough.  You know, the normal stuff.
And while I had compassion for the person who is struggling, I wished the one who was whining would just grow up.  You know; be mature like me.

That's when the Holy Spirit took me to task.

Somewhere in all the talk about free speech and don't judge me attitudes, people were reaching out to others. And even though I had family support and Godly people in my life who showed me how to handle the kind of stress that is thrown at each of us, not everyone has had those.
Sure, I could relate to that person who didn't feel good enough. But, let's be honest; I've done my share of whining, too.  Ahem, mostly when I was younger.  (Okay, yesterday I was younger then I am today.  That's not the point.)

The point is, I need to pray for all of my friends. Those in real life and those I've met only on social media. Those who annoy me and those to whom I can relate.  No, I won't pray that you be like me; but I will pray for your families, your life, your spiritual growth. And you need to pray for me, too. I still need to grow up.

And to those who are struggling with the kind of things life throws at you I want to hug you and tell you that life isn't like that all the time.  It is full of ups and downs/hills and valleys. So while you are going through that valley, look up; for one day you will be on top of that hill that looks impossible to climb and you will look down at where you were and be thankful for all you have. God will help you through it all.  If you want to know more about Him, ask me.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Entry #21 - If you give a mouse a cookie.

Several years ago (maybe 15?) a children's author, Laura Numeroff, wrote a book titled, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie".  It it she describes how life can snowball on you; one thing grows into another, then another.

That well describes my life this week.

I started making piggy banks to give to our Sunday School class this Christmas.  You know, out of felt.
Because they're cute, that's why.
And I had to make them each in different colors.
Because I asked them last week what colors they like.
We have a whole herd of colored pigs.

 So then I got to thinking, we will need a gift bag to put the piggies and some candy in, so I grabbed the cute Christmas fabric that my sister-in-law gave me last year, whacked off a hunk of it and sewed it to make a bag.
Actually, a whole set of bags.

And then I remembered something I saw on Pintrest.  You sew some candy inside of a brown paper sandwich.  I decided on a stocking shape, drew it out and added a velvet ribbon accent.
Like so.

And I thought I'd toss a candy cane into the bag. 
Cuz kids need candy when they go home. :-)
Then I remembered the candy cane mice that someone gave my kids many, many years ago.
I had leftover felt. Why not?

So I made a batch of mice with candy tails.

 Now everything is gathered together in their individual bags...

 And will eventually be tied up with ribbon once the teacher and I get the last few items gathered.
These bags came together so quickly. I should make them for all the presents this year and not ever by wrapping paper again...just keep reusing them.  
Mwahaha...or not.

  Meanwhile I'm in charge of this week's ornament craft.
 I printed large ornament shapes with "These are a few of my favorite things. Christmas 2013" at the bottom.  Then I printed a bunch of clip art with things they told me they liked.
 They will pick out what they like, glue it onto the ornament and take it home. Done in a day. 
Last week me made Borax Snowflakes.  Those were not done in a day. But parents have told me the kids are looking forward to coming back to Sunday School this week to see their snowflakes.

We're coming down to the wire, folks. Christmas is in TEN days!
I'm still shopping, baking and decorating.  Lots of stuff may not get done this year. So be it.

We hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Entry #20 - Dear Diary

Dear Diary,
It is Day #9161 and my captives have taken advantage of my unwillingness to leave the house by subjecting me to domestic chores.  The one called "husband" left early for "work" as did "oldest child".   This left me at the hands of "middle child" and "youngest child" who thought it fitting to drag two dead deer home yesterday and force me and the others to butcher the same. Today was processing day.
While I put a deer roast in the crockpot for supper, washed breakfast dishes and prepared equipment then cut up 14 pounds of meat and crammed it into canning jars, "middle child" and "youngest child" used the meat grinder to make ground meat. Then after some confusion on "middle child's" part, 10 pounds of the ground meat was mixed with spices, flavorings and salt cure. I was forced to start and re-start the pressure canner four times because of, shall we say, user error.  A good time was not had by all.  By then it was time for lunch and I prepared deer steaks, cream corn (out of a can) and creamed peas. "Middle child" invited Girlfriend 2.0 for lunch, who suspiciously eyeballed the chicken breast in the oven that I had reserved for myself. Deer for two meals in one day is too much for even me.  After cleaning the kitchen again of dirty dishes left behind by my captures, I used the devilish contraption called "the jerky gun" which fought me tooth and nail.  By this time I wanted to tell "middle child" and "youngest child" that they should process their own deer if they think this hunting thing is so grand, but my royal upbringing and these darn manners kept me from speaking out. I blame my parents for such a noble childhood.
But I digress.
"Middle child" and "youngest child" had left me under the watchful eye of Girlfriend 2.0 as she helped put jerky in the dehydrator. I was to get no rest, for while doing so they were in the attic digging out a large, fake Christmas tree.  Once it was assembled, "middle child" and Girlfriend 2.0 decided it was time to go shopping and left me in the hands of "youngest child" until "husband" came home from "work."  Once home, "husband" declared that he was hungry, so I prepared Brussels sprouts and stuffing (from a box) as well as gravy to go with the aforementioned roast in the crockpot.  Then it was time to - once again - wash the dirty dishes left behind by my captures.
I have sneaked off to my room to write this latest diary entry with my dishpan hands. Who knows what I will be subjected to tomorrow for all my plans for making Christmas goodies this week have been thwarted.

The only sign that Christmas is fast approaching is a sad, naked tree in my living room.

At least we eat well.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Entry #19 - A slight change of plans

So in my last posting (before Thanksgiving) I hinted at a project that I would give details about later.  After it was delivered.

As in a week ago.


I couldn't deliver said project to its designated receiver on Monday.
On Tuesday we had a snowstorm and Momma ain't driving in that if she doesn't have to.
Wednesday began the pre-Thanksgiving preparation rituals.  Namely: baking of the pies.
Thursday was a holiday.
Black Friday...duh!
And on Saturday we had a Baby Shower to attend.  On the way I was finally able to make a little girl very happy with my sewing project.

A topsy-turvy doll.

If you've never heard of such a thing, let me enlighten you.

 A topsy-turvy doll is a doll with a full dress skirt that...
 ...when lifted reveals...
 ...doll underneath.
In this case it is a doll that is awake on one side and asleep on the other.

My sewing machine made quick work of the embroidered faces.

Little details...the nightgown had extra lace.
 The hair had to be tied back to keep it from showing under the skirt.

 Lace, flowers and frills added girly touches.

I love sewing.  Especially for little girls.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Entry #something......maybe 18?: don't let us get bored, it's not good.

Ok, so, for the update on what I was working on Thanksgiving day. 
It's the same thing in the blog teaser pic that I posted on my Facebook page a few days ago.

First, let me say that when mom and I are bored this is what we do.
We get out our computers, pintrest, the sewing machine, 
the iron board, and today the popsicle sticks also.

Now, mom is still working on the post for this one so 
this is the only hint you get.

Mom's work station.....

My work station soon moved to the floor where I had more room.

Now to begin the fun process of assembling a popsicle snowflake

Almost done!!

Yay, now you leave it sit while you eat dinner with the family.

I know you are all yelling wanting to know if we still have the stray.....
We do.
And he's demanding food. 
And attention.
But mainly food. And wanting inside.

Yay! It's dry! 

And since it's windy you grab some bricks then start spray paining your snowflake white.
This will take several coats since the wood soaks it up, and it's windy outside. 

Then we sprayed it with a glitter hair spray and hung it up.

And now to work on a couple more to hang up with it in the dining room. 

Have a good weekend everyone! 
I'm off to a baby shower for my best friend. Twin Girls!!!!! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! From our family to yours! :D 
I know this is a little late in the day but I (Kate) took the pictures then had to work the sales at Wally World
Soooooo.........I know you are all wondering what our menu was:

 First on the menu was Green beans, with bacon and onions. 
Just like Grandma used to make.
And don't forget the Mashed potatoes in the background.
Our family (minus mom) LOVES mashed potatoes,
 soooo....this is the only picture of them I got.

Then my awesome mama made three pies. 
count them, three. love it!
The top one was a chocolate custard with meringue.
the middle was Cherry
and the bottom one was pumpkin. 

I know you can't really tell but this is the ham. no turkey.

and the yummy rolls. 

mamas traditional Sweet Potato casserole. 
This never lasts long. 
And when I fix my lunch for work tomorrow this will most likely be gone. 

Deviled eggs. Mom boiled and peeled them but I did the rest. 
The deviled eggs are my speciality .

Cranberry relish, this will for sure be left.
 I think mom and I are the only ones who like it. 

During the cooking I decided I wanted Wassle. 
yummy, didn't last long enough to get a good picture. 

I also got to see parts of the Macy's parade.
 and worked on a project that I will reveal in my next post. 

Hope you all had a happy, safe, and blessed Thanksgiving day. 
And please don't forget what this day really means. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Entry #16 - Frosted Chewies

I set out to make a snack last night before we went to church.  Plan A was to make a snack mix I saw on Pinterest that included making a caramel sauce, pouring it over a pan of Chex and nuts, mixing it in and baking for an hour.  I didn't have an hour.

Plan B was to make fudge.  I didn't like the recipe on the back of the marshmallow creme, so I got out my recipe book and looked up a tried-and-true recipe.  Then decided I didn't have time for that, either.

Side note:  a few years ago I typed out my favorite recipes, along with many of Mom's traditional recipes and many more recipes that I thought looked promising. I categorized them, printed them and put them in 3-ring binder.  This year I had to get a bigger 3-ring binder because I keep stuffing it full of recipes I've tried or want to try. 

Plan C (I have a whole alphabet, people) was another recipe from the "Holidays" tab in my recipe book.  It is called "Frosted Chewies" and Mom made them every Christmas after my cousin brought them to Mom's house to share. They are super simple to make and delightfully yummy. I would have never came up with this combination of peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch.

Frosted Chewies
6 cups Special K’s
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup light corn syrup

--Put corn syrup and sugar in pan. Bring to slow boil; take off of heat and add peanut butter & Special K’s. Stir well. Put in well-greased 13 x 9” pan.

1 ½ pkgs (6 oz each) butterscotch morsels (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 ½ pkgs (6 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate morsels (about 1 1/2 cups)

--Put in double boiler and melt together. Keep stirring. Put on top of the chewies. Let cool. Serve. (about 3 dozen in one pan)

So I grabbed the Special K's that I'd bought at the Amish salvage store a few weeks ago with this recipe in mind (who cares if the package is dented?) and measured them.  A former co-worker told me she made this recipe with Cheerios and called them "Oh Henry Bars".  (Leah, this also the recipe Karen makes with corn flakes and brings to the Boy Scout functions--sometimes plain, sometimes with a drizzle of melted chocolate chips.) So you don't HAVE to have Special K's...but I'm a sentimentalist, so I do.  :-)
I also got the peanut butter measured and the pan ready.

 Then I stirred the sugar and corn syrup together on the stove top. The recipe calls for a "slow boil".  I'm assuming that means stop before it comes to a "rolling boil".
Get bored and write out your Thanksgiving menu.

It doesn't take long for the syrup to come to a boil.  Take it off the stove, stir in the peanut butter and cereal until incorporated...
...pour it into the prepared dish and press flat.  I grabbed a sheet of waxed paper to press it. Be careful because it is very hot.

Mix the chips, nuke them for a bit, stir, repeat.

Smear the melted chips over top the cereal mixture and leave it to cool.  Lick the spoon while you wait. Then leave for church and wonder if you have chocolate on your face the entire ride there.

Once cool, cut a small piece, take a bite and say, "Mmmm".

Later today I will surprise a little girl with a sewing project I've been working on. I hinted about it on my last post. Afterwards I will share it with you.
Later, tater!