Monday, December 29, 2008

HGR Ctd.

Everyone goes to so much work to make Christmas gifts for us and we really do appreciate them and I like to give them some recognition for the time & thought they put into making us these gifts.
Horse-stick from Grandma S. for Isabel

Lori & Rachael made Isabel some flowers.

Grandma M. made Isabel this bathrobe.

I made Isabel this super hero cape.

Homemade Gifts Received

Handmade soaps from BIL Tony.

Leg Warmers for Isabel from Godmother Jessi

Romper Dress for Isabel from Grandma M. (the shirt is store bought)

Andy made this plastic bag drying thing for me.

These are gifts my mom made for us, slippers on top & an alchoholic fruit/drink called Bounce on the bottom.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Homemade Gifts

Isabel & I made ornaments this morning. She made the beaded ones and I made the metal ones. We have one of the metal ones hanging on the tree and all of the other ornaments are being given away as gifts. I got the idea for the metal ornament from Natural Home Magazine.

I acutally made three of these capes. I got the pattern/idea from this website. This is the one that Isabel is getting for Christmas and I also made ones for 2 of her friends.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

St. Lucia Day Meal

We're not Swedish (not that we know of), but we decided to celebrate St. Lucia day regardless. It gives us a chance to taste different foods and have a meal that is not quite the ordinary. Plus, it is a chance to educate Isabel about other cultures & traditions.

The above picture is of the St. Lucia Rolls that I made. They were pretty tasty. These rolls seem to be the cornerstone for any St. Lucia meal, other things vary from family to family, but these rolls are a must.

You can go search about St. Lucia, but I will give you the short version of the story. St. Lucia is from Sicily and lived during a time that the Emperor was persecuting Christians. The Christians hid in underground tunnels to avoid persecution, but as a result were starving. St. Lucia (not a saint until after she died, of course) would wear a crown of candles to light her way as she traveled these tunnels with a basket of these rolls to feed the Christians. She was killed by the Romans because she was feeding the Christians. Apparently they tried to burn her to death, but that didn't work (guess fire was her friend) and then they killed her with a sword.

Andy & Isabel made a St. Lucia candle crown (out of paper) earlier today. But we did light all the candles in the dining room and ate among them. It is nice to eat with candles burning.

So, I mentioned Swedish above, but St. Lucia was Italian. Well, as it turns out the Swedish really celebrate this holiday, much more than the Italians.

To round out the rest of our meal I made a warm vanilla pudding sprinkled with cinnamon (tastes yummy to dip these rolls in this), some Brie cheese (also yummy on the rolls) and sausage & cheese plate, some wine, & a Margarita pizza. I think next year I would just expand on the meats & cheeses and make another kind of bread thing in addition to the rolls.

What's funny was that as I was researching (today) other foods to serve with the rolls, it mentioned many of the same foods we ate last night at our dinner party (like a Christmas ham & meatballs, which we had both plus many other yummy things.)

Our next fun meal will be next Sunday for the Winter Soltice. For that meal we have invited some neighbors over to join us. Isabel & I will make a Yule Log Dessert as the feature item. Plus, we'll eat by candlelight. The difference for this meal is that we will eat only by candlelight as I will turn out the overhead lights. Plus we'll have some mulled wine and some lasagna & spaghetti. When I researched the Winter Soltice it seems that the only thing that is a must is a Yule Log of some sorts, whether it be a real Yule log in the fireplace or something edible. I'm going for something edible. Plus, candles are a must too.

Last Night's Dinner Party

Since we have moved back we have now one again begun the dinner parties that we have quarterly with friends from Grad School. It was a good time and we had good food & beverages. We hired one of our babysitters to be here with the kids (Isabel & April's boys) while the adults had our own fun. It was nice to hold conversations and only be interrupted by the occasional child coming in to check to make sure we were still there.
Top Picture: Andy & Jason
Bottom Picture: Molly, April, Me, Traci

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flower Patch Kids?

So, does anyone remember what the "name" of these dolls were? Someone told me they were Flower Patch Kids and they were the imitation Cabbage Patch Kids.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Craft Projects

Isabel & I made 4 of these today. I made these ones first for my nephew & niece as part of their xmas presents and then Isabel helped me make 2 more, one for her and one as a present for her friend Rachael for xmas. The idea came from here.

The second thing I made was this holiday wreath, which is hanging just outside out door. The pine & pinecones I used on here here came from one of the pine bushes in our landscaping. No one came around this year selling wreaths (I think the Boy Scouts do that). So, I decided to make one for myself. I think I did a pretty decent job.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

New Haircut

Side View

Yesterday I got my haircut. Here is a picture. I think it is fun & cute. It seems like EVERY December I get the itch to change my hair by cutting it (still am not crazy enough to put in bangs though).

It is based on the trendy Victoria Beckham haircut, but with curly hair. With curly hair you don't see the slant/angle quite so much. So, it's longer in the front and gets quite short in the back. It's so weird washing my hair with the different lengths like this. I can still pull the front up into a ponytail, which is necessary for doing downward facing dog.

Back View