Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Coloring book
I don't remember who it was, but someone asked me about the booklets they handed out at our Stake Conference. There were 3 double sided sheets of paper. This was the cover, which I thought was cool with the date on it.
They had just photocopied the funstuff from different Friend Magazines. all of it had to do with Thanksgiving because it was the week before.
There were Stake Primary people at every entrance with baskets full of crayons and pencils and the coloring books. It was a great way for the Stake to greet all the children.
I am avoiding getting ready for company. Both of our parents are coming in town today for a week (AK's baptism) and what am I doing. Cleaning? No I am designing a seal to put on my Christmas Card envelope. What am I thinking? I don't think I will use this, but thought it would be great for someone who's initials were MC. ... just had to share!
this was the whole reason I started a blog, to empty out my head of ideas instead of thinking I would use them all. Ok now it is out and I feel better!
I found this in Annie Kate's backpack this morning.

Dear Family,

I am thankful for you. Mom, I am thankful for you because you teach me. Also when I am lonly sitters ( I am hoping this means sisters) play with me. In addition Dad mack me diner. Also Mom bays me clothing. In conclusion Mom and Dad kiss me goodnight.
Annie Kate
November 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cute Cakes
Is this not the cutest cake? I found this on one of the great contributors of the Christmas Tradition Collection. She has another cute skate board cake too.Cute purse cake on Melanie's blog

Mille Bornes and Pillows
When Jeff was just started his residency in Nashville we had two bed pillows, one being really good and the other was old, flat and lifeless. I remember thinking I only had enough money to buy one good one, so I thought one was better than none.

Jeff and I love card games. We are both so competitive and I am sure are funny to watch. For years we played card games or Yahtzee every night before we went to bed and played in bed. The winner of the game would get to sleep on the good pillow. I think we did this for about three years. It makes me laugh even thinking about it. The winner would always make a big deal when they laid their head down and rub it in that they had won. It was such a good night when you would get to sleep on the good pillow.

One of our favorite games was Mille Bornes, a French driving game, played with cards. I played it at a s kid with my family.
We had a new set of cards but they just were not the same as the old ones I had as a kid, the graphics were different. (what a shocker that I remember the graphics from a card game in the 70's, my mind is filled with useless information) And the new set does not come with the cool green tray to pick up and discard.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found a full complete set from the 70's at a garage sale for $1.00. I felt like the guy in Toy Story finding Woody. We love this set and still play it before we go to bed. Even though now we both have good pillows.

Today I found my wonderful Mille Bornes set in Sally jane's room cut up in pieces with a pair of scissors next to it. I am honestly too sad to take a photo of it. That Caroline.... I am sad but am off to ebay to find a new set and pad lock to keep her out of it. I guess I should be happy it was not her hair!
In the next few days I will be emailing all those girlfriends who are apart of "Pink Christmas" the Christmas Traditions that we submitted with our bio. It is a great collection of Christmas traditions that you could use with your family. If you would like to be on that email list then submit one or many of your Christmas Traditions that I can add on there and then I will send it out to you. There are some great ones on there. Do it fast so that I can get it out on the original email. Tell your friends, link this to your blog so we can get a great list of your ideas. If you apart of Pink Christmas and want to add a few more you can do that too.
Just click "Email Me" on my side bar and add your first name and what state you are from. I can't wait to hear from you.
If you don't feel like you have any traditions you could share a favorite recipe.

Edit**** so far I just have to say I am amzazed at what some people have sent in. Amazing!! Don't miss out on getting these awesome traditions! this feels like pink christmas all over again when I was getting everyone's photos last month!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pom Pom Scarf
Have you seen these cute pom pom scarfs. I love them. They seem to be everywhere and you can find them on ebay for $.01 with $13.00 shipping. I found a rainbow one today at K-Mart for AK. $6.99 with 20% off aint that bad. I will take a photo of her in it, but keep your eye out for them they are cute! You could buy one of those pom pom makers at the craft store and make your own!

Christmas Card Mania!
Bek has asked me recently if I had any Christmas card ideas. For awhile now I have been wanting to scan all my old cards and put them in a Smugmug gallery to save digitally. Her asking motivated me to do it.
I love making cards and used to do it for a business when my husband first started his residency. (Thanks to my sister-in-laws, who paid for my groceries for many years, they were so nice to have me make theirs) I have also been so lucky to live around great photographers who have taken my families photo for me. So here is the list.

The top one is the second year Jeff and I were in New Orleans. I don't remember sending out handmade cards before that, but if anyone has ones I made before 1997, let me know. But I think I just bought them and signed them.
This card idea is great and if you have not done if before it is a great journaling idea. We just wrote down all the things we did that year and then had a running list behind our photo. We took this photo ourselves on timer in our overgrown back yard. We were sitting a $5.00 huge picnic table I bought at a garage sale. We could never use the table because it was so hot to sit outside there.

In 1998, our first daughter was born so her birth announcement was our Christmas card. Back then I thought it was so cool , no it looks so lame. The front had photos of Jeff and I when we were children, the copy I have is missing my photo. They were in little glassine envelopes that I ordered from a company that is no longer in business, but it was a photography company so they were really cheap. this company seems comparable
the front was tied with ribbon and the inside said, "Look what we got for Christmas..."

1999 was our last Christmas in New Orleans. And thanks to Palmer Photography we had some great photos to work with. They were wrapped in red vellum with the words We Believe on the top. I ran out of red vellum and ended using clear on the last few.

2000 was our first year in Nashville. My girlfriend helped me make this red Santa coat for Annie Kate. I love this coat. AK actually wore it as a dress too. My girlfriend took this photo in front of her green door on her time out stool. It had a flap with a glued on button to hold the flap down.

2001 is one of my favorite cards ever. It was the year of 9/11 and I felt like I had to do something with an American Flag. My friend Karen C. took the photo in front of her house. I then scanned it and made a pencil drawing out of it. With a line from a wonderful song by Louis Armstrong. It was my way of reminding myself after all that had happened that year, that our world still is wonderful. I used this awesome silver, metallic paper that I ordered from Paper zone in Seattle

2002 Ok, wait now this may be my favorite card ever. This was the year that Jeff had just come back from an incredible trip from Nigeria and brought back malaria with him. The photo I used on the card is one of his patients giving him a pineapple to thank him (thus my love of pineapples) My friend with Hall Photography also took our photos and so we had to use those too. I love these photos. AK is wearing her cousins dress and bow, who is 6 years older than her. These cards took forever to make and lots of color coordinating and planning. I sent them in a clear plastic envelope.

2003 this year I was behind on getting my cards out so they were Merry New Year Cards. They are dated 2004 but that was because I sent them in January. I should have put 2003. My neighbor Caitlyn took this photo of the girls on her couch and it was perfect for my pink and brown card. It had a brown ribbon wrapped around the card with the photo on top. I also mad some small cards 2"x2" that said "On a personal note" . I had wanted to write a few hand written notes that year. I may do that again this year, I like the idea.

2004. This was the first of two years where I had my photos taken by the great German Photography. I wish I could find the real photo of this because Caroline is screaming her head off. Thus why AK as laughing so hard. My friend Stacy did a little photoshop to fix it. This was all printed on one card with holes punched around the year to loop in ribbon. AK helped me color in the bow on Caroline to Pink with a colored pencil on each one.

2005. This was last year and I loved this card too. My mom had bought these outfits for the girls from Gymboree with this great stripe, bright colors and brown. I sat down one night with the sweater on my lap and recreated the stripes on my computer for the card. (is that so weird)
This was the most matchy card we have done and Jeff was a sport to wear a orange sherbert shirt. Again the photo taken by German Photography with us sitting in the back yard with a white sheet staple gunned to the fence. I can't believe how much Sally Janes hair has grown in one year.

This card was one I made for my parents to send out one year and I had to give it honorable mention. Everyone was scattered all over the country that year so I did a sketch our of each person. Kind like what you would do when one person is missing and then explain why they are missing, but we did everyone and then explained why they are missing. I loved the Buchanan plaid ribbon on the front. If you are Scottish and have a ribbon named after you, it is a great thing to use for Christmas cards. You can click on the photo to see closer. I am probably the only one who really thinks this is funny.

So there is my Christmas Cards past. I am so stressed and excited about what I am doing this year. I have a few days to decide. We have a lot of family coming in town for AK's baptism and so I want to get as much done before they come.

Good luck with your Christmas cards and enjoy the process of sending them out, it is such a great way to think of all your friends this time of year.

Here is my new ribbon contest... 11.5 yards ( to symbolize the size of my huge shoes) to the person that come closest to how many cards I will send out this year with out going over. I am not sure how many I have this year so after I send them out I would count them up and then let you guess. Happy card making!

Question... How do you display your cards when you get them, and do you save all of them?
Last year i started taking photos of them. I display them all over my kitchen cupboards like my sister in law julie, because it reminds me of her. I would love to know what everyone else does.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Blogging Back up!

Wow, things have so busy and I just have not taken the time to really write down what has been going up.
So here is my summary.

Friday, November 17th.
Annie Kate had her 8th birthday party at Dick's Sporting Goods Climbing Wall. She only invited boys to her party, how funny is that. There were 5 of them all together and they had a great time. Jeff was in Dad heaven with all these boys and loved watching his daughter outclimb them all.
I did $1.00 store backpacks with laminated name tags, water bottles that say "Annie Kate thinks I rock", and little treat bags. She had a real vision for her cake with a large brownie with icing and the #8 in mini m&m's. I was proud of myself for doing just what she asked. She had a wonderful time.
party photos
Saturday, November 18th.
We went to the National Zoo with my friend Mark J and his family. Mark and I went to High School and church together in NM. He now works at the Pentagon and lives in VA. My family had a WONDERFUL time. It was so much fun catching up with him and meeting his darling family. It was such a great day and we got to see the pandas.
zoo photos.Sunday, November 19th
Today was Stake Conference. It is where smaller congregations of my church all meet together in one meeting. I could not believe how many people were there. I loved seeing the sign when we walked in the door saying.
French Translation room 7
Spanish Translation room 9
Chinese Translation room 11
There was also a room to take your small children. I loved thinking I live in a place with so much diversity. They also passed out coloring books for the kids and crayons and pencils from the Stake Primary.
We got to talk to some friends in the hall most of the time, our kids were crazy! But one of the highlights was calling Senator Harry Reid up to share his feelings about the church. With him being the new Senate Majority Leader he is the highest elected official in the history of our church. Whether I believe with what he may say or not, I was amazed by his humble and difficult story of growing up. Coming from parents with now education who did whatever they could so he could have one, was wonderful.
We then went downtown around 5:00pm to take our Christmas photos. I can't post them, because then they would not be that fun to get in the mail if you have already seen the photo. But i am beyond excited with how they turned out. i love creating my Christmas cards every year and this year is no exception. Still have no idea what it will look like, but the next few days I will figure it out.
Ahhh, so I caught up on last weekend now I just need to catch up on all the sites we saw this week with David and Lenessa. Yesterday I took 248 photos just at Mt. Vernon and the National cathedral.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

to the naked eye, this turkey would look burned, but to the well trained southern eye you would recognize that this turkey has been deep fat fried.

Here is the low down on the incredible, wonderful day!

Our friends injected and deep fat fried our turkey in peanut oil for us this year. Scott is an expert and makes his own spices from scratch. The turkey was amazing!

here is what it looked like cut. it looked like a cinnamon roll with all the seasoning perfectly swirled inside. (doesn't this make you want to visit us for next year!!)

I made Barb's stuffing with the wonderful Bell's seasoning. I just love pulling out this box every year.

We did our Thanksgiving tradition of starting off the meal with three m&m's. We start at one end of the table and say something we are thankful for and then eat an m&m. We go around the table until everyone has said three things.
I love doing this to hear what everyone says, but most of all because I got this tradition from my friend Mindy (who will be on Oprah next Monday) and every year I think of her while we are doing it. Her family uses raisins... so me to use m&m's instead.

My friend Nicole had me come over to her house at 7:30 this morning so she could teach me how to make rolls. The gift she has given me.. oh my. I went back at 2:00 to learn how to roll them out. This is the first time I have made rolls in my life. I am so grateful to her for teaching me.

I made Michelle's yummy toffee apple dip. Our only fruit of the day. It was oh so good.

We also had the famous Cram Cheese ball to snack on all day.

I love making two things every year. The homemade cranberry sauce and the melting the butter into the celery for the stuffing. To me that feels like Thanksgiving!

We took a little break from cooking before dinner and went to Starbucks to get some peppermint hot chocolate. It was raining all day so our fun walk to the lake was foiled by the weather.

But the best part of the day had to be that we spent it with family. David & Lenessa have been here all week and it has been wonderful. They are newlyweds (see her incredible wedding photo here) and so much fun to be around! We have been exploring the city together and eating lots of food since they have been here! Thanks you guys for coming!
These are the Sausage phyllo cups we make for breakfast every year. David and Jeff got started on breakfast the night before.

Since we made so much food, I thought it would be fun to list all the things we made this year to remember for next year.
  • Cram Cheese ball
  • Chez Moi Apple dip
  • Filo sausage cups
  • Deep Fat fried turkey
  • maple apple turkey breast that we soaked in a special brine all night
  • cranberries
  • Lizzy's orange butter
  • Hunter Rolls
  • Barb's Stuffing
  • Carrot Souffle
  • Candied yams, emphasis on the candied
  • Garlic Mashed potatoes
  • David's yummy gravy
  • Raspberry Orange Jello
  • Lime Coconut Southern Buttermilk Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Jumbleberry Pie (thanks to Marie C.)
Wow what a great day that ended with some of the family going to see Santa Claus 3.
8 is great!
Today, Thanksgiving Day, is my first daughter's birthday. Sweet Annie Kate. I get so teary just even writing this first sentence. I love her so much! I went through the photos I have of her and just had to put on some of my favorite. It shows how this girl can do so many things. Not that she is great at everything she tries, but she definitely tries.

She is ultra smiley and one of the things her teacher told me was that there has not been a day this year that she has not walked in the door with a smile on her face. She has way more style than I do. She can change a bobbin on a sewing machine, use a laminator, cut with a die cut machine, do 4 pull ups on Jeff's bar, wears a size 2 shoe, put her hair in two pony tails, cast with her fishing pole, loves to be tested in math, climb the tree in front of our house, heely with ease, likes to eat peanut butter and honey, can climb a wall like spiderman, does not drink soda; water is her favorite drink, loves her sisters and today is 8 years old.

Happy Birthday my sweet freckle face!

and oh my, I am so behind on blogging, so much great fun stuff has been going on I need a big catch up day... and can't wait to share how good my mailbox has been to me....