Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Simple Sewing Project

Got a sewing bug this morning, so I created this cute kid skirt.

Super, super simple to make. I had everything on hand, so it literally took 20 minutes to make.

This would be so cute with some matching baby leg warmies.

Christmas Tree

We've never gotten our Christmas tree so early in the season as we did this year, but we are both going to be so busy every day for this next week that Friday night was our only day to get it.

I think Grant did a fantastic job finding the "perfect" tree.

He's a good man- cleans and everything.

Here is the finished project!

With a little help from the cats.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It's been such a whirlwind week for me-- lots to do at work. Now that I have baked and decorated a cake, made kefir, cooked and smashed the broccoli, de-cobbed the corn, simmered the rice, made chicken tetrazini (from scratch) and cleaned the kitchen, I am ready for some holiday down time. Ahh, nice deep breaths.

I was going through some old photos this week (for a special present for someone) and I came across some of my favorites. They reminded me of all the people in my life that I have that I am thankful for.

My sweet husband-- lookin' all dapper in his work clothes.

My adventure loving dad-- I hope there are a few more whitewater rafting trips in our future.

My mom- for encouraging me and teaching me (look at the way she is holding my hands still for the photo-- gentle but firm)!

My sister- definitely my best friend-- we dressed like twins during most of our childhood.

My silly baby brother and sister- they sure are cute and funny (even now).

My music making, rock star singing "babies" (really, my niece and nephew-- but, hey, Rhea doesn't mind)

My middle nephew-- he's being a boy right now. He's adorable and animated.

And my new baby niece- ain't she a cutie! I think I'll keep her for myself.

I have two more precious babies in my life-- a niece and nephew of which I don't have current photos for-- hmm, will have to work on that. In the meantime you can visit them here. They are awfully adorable.

And last but not least, Grant's whole extended family- for without them, I wouldn't have my Grant. Plus, they have been wonderful to me over the years.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kefir, sounds funny, tastes delicious

So, I’m a little crunchy and a little paranoid of preservatives and things that are not of nature being put into my food, etc. For these reasons and others (economical) I like to make my own yogurt/kefir.

Well, in one of my fits of boredom (and this was so not done at work, no sirreee) I started investigating different ways to make yogurt, and I kept coming across references to Kefir. Still not having anything constructive to do, I started researching Kefir. It turns out that Kefir is even more amazing than yogurt!!! (Oh, the things you learn when you are at work and supposed to be working, but taking what you term “your cigarette break” internet research time).

Kefir has all the good bacteria that yogurt does plus more-- Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species and Streptococcus species. It also colonizes in your intestines (which is a good thing) rather than leave when the job is done. It also contains good yeasts, which attack the bad yeasts. Yeah, I’m totally simplifying all this stuff. Kefir also helps digest the foods that we eat. And it is easier to digest based on the curd size than yogurt.

What an amazing food. Do you want to know the best part-- it tastes just like yogurt!

So, after learning all these fabulous things, I hopped right on over to my local health food store and bought some freeze dried Kefir starter. It’s been a love affair ever since!

My Kefir recipe:
**Heat 42 oz. organic, whole milk (eventually I plan to switch to raw milk) in a pan until it reaches 110 degrees
**Take the pan off the stove and put it into an ice bath until it cools a little
**Take one packet of the Kefir starter and mix it with some of the heated milk so it dissolves
**Whisk the Kefir mix with the heated milk and pour it into 7 (6 oz) glass bottles.
**Put the glass bottles in a yogurt maker and set for 14 hours
**When 14 hours is up, put the lids on the glass jars and put them into the fridge for at least an hour.

When I eat my kefir, I mix in organic raw honey and organic granola. SOOOO good.

Another cool thing: you don’t have to have a yogurt maker to make kefir (or yogurt). You just do the same thing as above- heat up your milk to 110 degrees, put the starter in it, put it in a big mason-type glass jar (cover it with a cloth) and set it on your counter for 24 to 48 hours (stir occasionally with a wooden spoon). The longer you let it sit out the tarter and firmer the Kefir (or yogurt) will be. Important: Always use clean utensils and hands when making kefir-- you don’t want to add bad bacteria to it and don’t store or stir it with anything metallic.

Now don’t be scared, the milk is not going bad. It’s fermenting. Hmm, fermenting still doesn’t sound as good-- but trust me, fermented foods are good for you.

You really should try this.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It just started snowing again!!!!


Umm, it actually just snowed here for about 4 minutes today. Because I feared that this might be the only snow I see this year, I took a trip outside to see it in person-- just to make sure it wasn't my imagination. Nope, it wasn't. It was actually real, live flakes. It did, however, stop snowing the minute I stepped back into my office. I love snow. It makes me all things happy. Even if for only 4 minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I hope you remembered to thank a veteran of our great country today.

A HUGE thanks to all the men and women who have served our country. They are the true definition of a hero. May they be blessed ten fold for the sacrifices they have made for all of us.

I have two very special vets in my life.

My brother, Sam.

I am very proud of what you have done for our country. I am very proud of what you have personally accomplished in your life. I remember writing these words to you while you were in boot camp.

You are good
And you’re brave
What a father that you’ll be someday
Make it home
Make it safe
(Lyrics by Mark Schultz “Letters from War”)

Those words are still true.

The other vet is a man I have never actually met-- my grandfather, Papa Phil.
I may not have known him, but he will always hold a special place in my heart. I know that he is in heaven watching all of us down here.

Thank you for your service and for having my dad-- for without you and him, I would not be here today. Just saying.

Love and the most sincerest thanks to you both.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby Leg Warmies/Baby Leg Warmers/Baby Legs

I think baby leg warmies are adorable. They are fun, funky and cute. They allow a baby to crawl around without getting rug burn, stay in a onesie all day, stay warm on a chilly day and make a cute fashion statement. Here is my attempt at a pair. I was inspired by this post. The stripe pattern is my own design.

Hmm, which baby will get to enjoy these?

Another Birthday Shout Out!

I was (gently) reminded that my cousin had her birthday this past week too! I promised her a shout out-- Happy Birthday Caitlin!! I know it was a great one! Hope to see you soon.

I just love this picture-- Caitlin with my nephew Avin.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Hoo-Hoo

My sweet grandfather turned 80 this past week.
Happy Birthday Hoo-Hoo!!!!

(My grandparents with most of the grandchildren)

I feel blessed that you are my grandfather!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Knit Hats

So, some of what I've been doing these past couple of days is knitting. Here is what I've done so far.

Cute little roll up hat with knitted flower (kind've hard to see flower though)

Another hat with ribbed edging.

I love hats and I love pink. Wonder what I'll do next.

We exercised

our right to vote yesterday.

Enough said.

I'm a bad blogger

Yes, it has been awhile since I've blogged. Gosh, I even did stuff worth blogging about too! Pics and stories to come soon. Stick with me people.