Sunday, November 30, 2008

A First Snowfall

     We worked frantically yesterday with the help of the oldest two grandsons, to get up most of the outdoor decorations as the weather forecast was for snow!  We awoke this morning to this: 
And this one is for Bud:
Bud will get the outside done today as I work on the inside.  Have a great day!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

     We had a great Thanksgiving Day, and I hope you did too!  All three girls and their families plus my sister were here for the day.  Our menu was:
Fried Turkey
Potatoes and Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
California Blend Vegetable Casserole
Rotini Salad
Cinnamon Bread
Pumpkin Dessert
Coconut Cream Pie
Peach Dessert
We ate until we were stuffed, then some of us played cards while others watched TV and/or went to get hay for the cattle.  Dessert came later.  The girls poured 
over the ads and planned their strategy for today.   Cael certainly enjoyed his turkey leg!
     As I set the table for dinner, I realized I was short on table cothes and fall decorations for this large of a gathering.  In the past few years we have either been in North Carolina for Thanksgiving, or we've not had such a large group.  Here is the table:

And the centerpiece:

I was very disappointed in the table as it looked pretty blah with the white and a small centerpiece.  I will work on this before next Thanksgiving.  It also gives me something to think about for Christmas too!

We all (except Kyle who had to work) got together today at Travis & Kerry's since they couldn't make it yesterday.  Once again we ate way too much.  We just got home late with two sleepy little boys who are going to help us decorate tomorrow.  So, another Thanksgiving for the memories!  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving Day is upon us.  
We are most thankful for:

1.  the good health of all members of our family.
2.  jobs we  love that are secure.
3.  Bud is especially thankful that we don't have 10 inches of snow on the ground!
4.  the fact that all of our children and grandchildren are in Iowa.
5.  that we have everything we need.
6.  that our addition & remodeling project is ALMOST finished.
7.  that we have our faith to keep us going daily.
8.  that we have three wonderful grandsons to enjoy.
9.  that the fire that was across the road didn't hope over to our house.
10. for the things we take for granted--electricity, transportation, phones, etc.

     Here we are on Thanksgiving morning and I wanted to put some danishes in the oven for our breakfast and lo and behold---the oven won't turn on!!  It will broil, but not bake.  I just used it last night to bake bread, so I don't know what happened.  So, we will go to plan B--put the ham in the cooker and use the oven basement for everything else.  We're frying the turkey anyway, so one oven should be fine.

One thing that some of my kids (especially SIL, Kyle) enjoy at holiday meals is the cinnamon bread that I make.  It is something that my grandpa's wife used to make and we loved it.  She taught me how to do it, and it is very easy to do.  

Cinnamon Bread
thaw one loaf of frozen bread dough
when it is thawed not risen, roll it out
sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it 
roll it up and put in greased loaf pan
let rise
bake at 350 for 15-20 min. or until golden brown
take out of pan and let cool
frost with a powdered sugar frosting

     Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cookies and Cleaning

Well, it's time to start baking Christmas cookies!  I baked my first kind today.  They are sugar cookies.  Not the roll out and cut out kind--I don't enjoy making those.  These are rolled in sugar and flattened, then frosted.  My dad liked these cookies, especially the ones that got a little brown.  He would dip them into his coffee.  Trilby, Kerry, and I are having a cookie exchange on Friday.  I should come home with date pinwheel cookies and peanut butter star cookies, so I should have three kinds done.  I will also make chow mein chocolate cookies, no bake cereal cookies, date cookies, peanut clusters, fudge, and snickerdoodles.  Those flavors will just about cover everyone's favorites.  But I don't know Tanner's favorite Christmas cookie yet.  Tanner, what's your favorite?

We had a busy day yesterday with running errands in the morning, then going to Clinton for a 5:00 p.m. wedding (Kerry's brother).  They had a very nice wedding and reception.  The food was delicious.  It also happened to be Bud's 52nd birthday which we actually celebrated last weekend.  We will go to the casino for supper next Saturday to celebrate.

I convinced Bud to move furniture around in my dining room again.  I am just not happy with the way things were placed, yet I can't really figure out how it would look the best.  He was not very happy about it to say the least!  Anyway, moving furniture means cleaning, so I had so spend some time dusting and washing windows in the dining room. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kissing Santa!

Yes, I was caught kissing Santa Claus last night!  I accompanied Santa (aka Bud) to Cedar Rapids to attend the Big Brothers Big Sisters Holiday Party 2008 and we had our photo taken there.  There were hundreds of people there enjoying the wonderful meal, crafts, Santa, photo booth, and dance.  A big thank you to all of the donors.  The even could not happen without the generosity of many businesses and individuals.  

Tanner had his "little" at the party, so we got to meet him.  Trina was working so she was not able to go get her little so she couldn't be at the party.  Santa  visited with many children.  Their requests varied from, " I don't need much since the flood, and we already got a new house." to children who came prepared with their catalogs!  This is the fourth year that Santa has appeared at this event.  It really gets me in the Christmas mood!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good Soup and Cute Fabric

Do you ever just have a craving for a certain dish?  Well, I did.  I was anxious to have a dish of clam chowder.  The cold weather makes me want some good home cooked soup to warm me up.  I bought the ingredients, but it was a while ago.  I finally had the time to cook it this weekend and it was yummy!  Here's the recipe in case you want to try it.

New Orleans Style Clam Chowder
3/4 stick pure butter (melted)
1 red onion, minced and sauteed--stir 10 min.
Add:  2 cans minced diced/drained clams--sautee
After 5 minutes slowly add:
2 large cans New England Clam Chowder
3 cans cream of Potato Soup
1 quart 1/2 and 1/2
Bake covered 4 hours @ 200 degrees  Can add milk if you think it is too thick.

I have been trying to get a baby quilt done, but other things keep interfering.  I have the top and back done and hope to get it tied on Wednesday evening.  Are the fabrics just too cute?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Saturday started out quiet at my house.  Bud and Tanner went to the Iowa game. (Thanks for taking my ticket, Tanner!)  It was just too cold for me and my knee is just on the mend, so I didn't want to do all the stair climbing.  Anyway, I was home alone and really got a lot done.  I did some cleaning,  watched some of the game, got the laundry done, and cut out some quilt pieces.  Trina showed up with Nate, and a while later Bud, Tanner, Tasha, Kyle, Trilby, Mike, Payton, and Cael showed up to celebrate Bud and Payton's birthdays.  We had a delicious tenderloin supper with various sides and of course dessert!  There were eight plus candles on the cake. (couldn't just put eight for Payton, but 52 would be WAYYYY too many!)  Opening presents was the highlight for Payton of course.  It was nice to have him able to read his own birthday cards with just a little help.

Tasha and Kyle moved back to Iowa from North Carolina in July.  They are living about five miles north of us.  Kyle is working for Capper Ford in Williamsburg, and Tasha is working at UIHC as a patient liason.  We are happy to have them home and able to join us in these family celebrations! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This & That

What a wet chilly few days we've had.  Makes me want to stay in bed with a good book!  After working to get my craft room in order on Saturday, I had a productive Sunday.  I am behind on my baby quilt making.  I make a baby quilt for each great niece or nephew.  Nothing fancy or complicated and it's usually tied, not quilted.  Well, with the house project I am behind by four quilts.  In fact, one will be a year old this month!  Anyway, I had the material to make one for a boy so I quickly put one together.  I didn't make a pieced one, but just used a cheater top and machine stitched it.  I shopped for material for the next one which I hope to make this weekend.  I really want to get it to her before she turns one.    Payton, our oldest grandson, turns eight tomorrow.  It's hard to believe he is that old!  He had his first birthday party with his friends.  He invited seven friends to go swimming and then to their house for supper, cake and ice cream.  Of course Cael and Nate were there too.  What a nice looking bunch!  Payton wanted a camouflage cake, so with some helpful ( and sometimes not too helpful) hints from Bud and his hunting clothes I made something that passed for camouflage.  At least it was tasty!   I joined the tribe for the party as the mom and dad felt they needed some reinforcements.  Grandpa decided to stay home and keep his blood pressure at a lower rate!  We will celebrate Grandpa and Payton's birthdays on Saturday after the Iowa game.  So, as my family and colleagues know I'm not exactly technologically proficient.  On that note, I could use some help getting photos to go in the places I want them.  For example, I would liked to have had these mixed in with the writing at different places, but I can only seem to get them to go where they want.  Can anyone help me?  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Simply Saturday

Whew!  What a busy week we had.  This  was a week full of conferences, appointments, and a birthday celebration.  Monday I had my last (for a while anyway) physical therapy appointment as my PT has suggested a new doctor, so PT is on hold until we see what he has to say.  Officially conferences were Wednesday evening, but I had to stay late Tuesday to prepare for them.  So there goes two evenings.  Thursday evening I helped celebrate a friend's birthday by going out for dinner. (Happy Birthday, Laura!)  Friday evening Trilby and Nate showed up to help me begin reorganizing my craft room.  With the remodeling we've been doing the past year most things have been boxed up and the craft room has been unused.  I also lost my storage as I had stored the fabric in my hutch which was moved to the new dining room.  So, today I just putzed around the house reorganizing things in the craft room. I had the washer humming the whole time as I rewashed a few of my antique chenille bedspreads and some antique doilies so I can use them. I did manage to sew some crocheted trim onto a pair of pillowcases I had embroidered a while ago.  This I did while I watched the last half of the Iowa vs. Penn State game!  What an exciting game!  Wouldn't you know I didn't go to it today!  So, it was simply Saturday.  Busy, but not too busy.  I didn't even leave the house.  No photos today as I left my camera at school!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Boys at Work

The weather has been so beautiful it is hard to believe it is the first of November! Work continues on the house, so Bud thought he would call in the troops to help on Saturday.  Tasha helped him while I supervised the two oldest grandsons who were SUPPOSED to be picking up apples.  Cael ate more than he picked up!  I hated to see so many go to waste, so I tried a new apple cake recipe which was yummy!  Then I spent a lot of time working on grades. The boys spent the night and "worked" with Bud Sunday while I worked on report cards at school. I returned home just in time to give the boys a snack before their dad picked them up.  Then I did a switcheroo in my closet swapping summer clothes for winter clothes, walked on the treadmill, stained the new counter, and painted some trim for the porch.  In between all of that I took mini-breaks to rest my back and try to get my book read for book club. So, all in all, I think I had a pretty productive weekend.  How about you?