Saturday, December 27, 2008

A House Full of Elves!

What's a family Christmas without a couple of jolly elves!

The littlest elf was waiting so very cutely under the tree!A first time visit for little J with his great-grandpa meant that four generations of D family men could pose for a treasured photo.

Little J is blessed with four aunts (or aunts to-be!) but at least for this visit, I think Aunt E was his favorite. It seemed that whatever she did, he found her quite amusing!

Aunt B and Uncle N will be providing a new cousin soon! Next Christmas will be even more exciting!
J & J's little house was the scene of a wonderful family Christmas. We stopped eating, playing and opening presents long enough for a family portrait.

More relatives came to celebrate Christmas and meet their grand nephew/cousin! I think they wish to remain blog-anonymous, but I'm sure their identities are known to some!
"Bye, Grammie! See you next visit. And thanks for all the toys and the new quilt!"
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas wishes from Beamer and the rest of the family! I'll be back next week with highlights of the holiday. May you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Baking Ideas

If you're like me, the procrastinator, you are still shopping, wrapping, baking and maybe even sewing! I think the shopping is done and I'm making progress on the rest of the list. Christmas will get here whether we're ready or not.

Here's the result of some of my baking. Marcia over at cutestuffinside is hosting a virtual cookie swap. Even though I didn't sign up to participate, I'll post the recipe for Johnny Appleseed Filled Cookies. D's grandma used to make these and it seemed like she always had a container of them in the freezer when we'd go to visit. So if there's still some holiday baking in your future, maybe you'd like to try these. Though not especially a Christmas cookie, they do bring back memories and they're also pretty tasty!

Johnny Appleseed Filled Cookies
1/2 cups shortening
1 cup Sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp cream
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
apple butter

Mix shortening, sugar and eggs; stir in cream and vanilla.
Stir flour, soda and salt together until well blended; stir into egg mixture. Chill at least 1 hour.
Roll dough about 1/8-inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board; cut into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Place half the rounds on lightly greased cookie sheet; top each with a rounded teaspoon of apple butter. Make slits in remaining rounds; place over filled rounds and press edges together. Bake filled cookies 8 to 10 minutes at 400-degrees. This recipe will make about 2 Dz. cookies. These freeze well. Enjoy!

I was beginning to think my blogging days were over a few days ago. My computer was attacked by a worm that invaded my Internet Explorer even though I was running Firefox. There were also several other major problems hiding in the depths. But, thanks again to my talented husband (along with help from his friend) I'm back up and running. My computer is all nice and clean (on the inside, anyway!) and humming along smoothly!

This is all for tonight. Back to the kitchen to put away another batch of cookies - Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles. Maybe another recipe post is in the future. Take care!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Feliz Navidad!

What would the holidays be without a lively Christmas party?! Our hostess for the evening shared a little of her native Cuban hospitality and had outdone herself with the decorations, food and even entertainment! After enjoying an array of delicious appetizers, some tasty Cuban dishes and yummy desserts we were treated to a performance by a flamenco dancer.

I'm sorry I never did hear the name of this young woman but half the fun of watching her was watching her facial expressions and her beautiful arm movements.

We all moved to the basement where she "attempted" to give us a basic lesson in flamenco dancing!
We were also entertained by this young man. He even tried to teach some salsa dancing! Unfortunately or fortunately! another glass of sangria (or more!) would have been necessary before you would have found me or D out on the dance floor. We're not the party animals that we may seem to be ! LOL! But it was fun to watch the other guests enjoying themselves though!
A fun evening was enjoyed by all the guests, even the youngest. This adorable little gal donned her jammies to watch the dancers. (Why is it that this stance is acceptable for a one year old, but not a the rest of us?)
Thanks for a sharing this wonderful evening, M & R ! Ole' !!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sharing Some Cuteness

I can't resist. I have to share this with you all. Isn't he the most adorable grandbaby? I'm not prejudiced either. Well, maybe a little :) Just think, next year I'll have even more adorables to share! Joey's other grandpa (Coach) took this photo during their Thanksgiving visit. Thank you J and Coach for sharing this cuteness! We're excited to see the whole family at Christmas. And it will be here before you know it. I'm staying busy with lots of shopping, eating, baking, eating, sewing, eating, party going, more eating so my blogging and blog reading time is limited. We may well look like one of these Santas next Spring when it's bike riding time again! And no, this is not our house. This is a house up the street from B & N. I'd like to drive by at night to see them all lit up!
I hosted OLBC (our little book club) this past week with a simple soup and appetizer supper. There are only five of us in our club, but we enjoy getting together and sharing our friendship. We don't always read a book, but we try to at least talk about reading! Can you tell that I prefer to stay simple with the table decorations? At least I had an excuse to get the Christmas dinnerware out. The kids gave me these dishes a few years ago when Macy's was still Lazarus here. I love using them!
Someone finally joined the ranks of the 50 year olds! We had to celebrate a little with cake and little gifts. Happy Birthday Mrs. D!
Our official group photo. It probably would have turned out better if I'd had D come from his hiding place in the basement to take this picture instead of trying to balance the camera on the back of the recliner. Note to self - when you are the hostess, you have the right to remove your shoes but just remember to put them back on before group photos or your shortness will be documented for all to see!
Back to work on some holiday baking and sewing projects so this is all for this morning. Hope you all are enjoying your holiday activities too!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

There's Been A Little Development Here!

I've got a confession to make. I've been holding out on you all. We've had some exciting developments here in the past few weeks! Our baby girl (and her hubby!) are expecting their first child, our second grandbaby! Little J will soon have a little cousin to share with his grammie and grampa! The newest addition to our family should arrive near June 30. This baby will be the first grandchild for her/his daddy's side of the family so needless to say, we are all very excited! B & N go for the first ultrasound tomorrow so I'm sure it will be an exciting day for them. B has done a little blogging of her own and will be posting monthly tummy photos! The things we never even dreamed of "back in the day" ! Congratulations you two!

I was excited last week to receive a package in the mail from my sister. Unlike me, she is usually on time with her birthday presents ( I still owe my niece one from November!) . I tore it open to find a new table runner for my dining room table. Made from Moda's Peace of Earth collection, it fits my long table perfectly. (The colors just didn't come through on the photo above, sorry) K is pretty new to quilting so I'm honored to receive one of her projects. I am usually busy making things for others and slow in completing those for myself, so this meant a lot to me. Thanks K!
My friend and knitting mentor T and I both had birthdays on Wednesday. (As did Connie!) T has been so generous with her time, yarn and advice that I felt she deserved one of the purses that I've been making. Looks like she is pleased with it and it even matched her outfit! We spent a good portion of the afternoon knitting and enjoying lunch with two other friends. That evening, D took me out for dinner at Buck's Restaurant in Louisville to celebrate. We don't often go to such "upscale" places, so that was a treat.

I've been working on other "secret" projects this week and slowly starting my Christmas shopping. Our little (sometimes) book club will meet here this week for our holiday get together so some house cleaning and cooking are in order for the next couple of days. Most of my Christmas decorations are finally up but the outside lights will be mostly absent this year. The early cold weather has put a damper on that. Next year we'll make up for that since we'll have two little ones to impress with the twinkles and sparkles!

I'm sure everyone is getting busy with the holidays. Please be careful as you're out and about this time of year, but most of all, I hope you can relax and enjoy special times with family and friends. I'll try to take my own advice too! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've Been Working On.............

Just to prove to you all that I really do have some projects in the works, here's a few photos of some things I've been working on.

This is the table runner that I made for E. A very similar one was given to J and J. Don't you just love those Mary E. fabrics! They were used in the little table topper I sent to my Polka-Dot and Rick Rack Swap partner too. If you would like to see her photo of the goodies I sent, you can pop over to her blog. I hope she was pleased with her package! Thanks Sharon for getting this swap organized! And by the way, Marcia has a contest going on too. Click on the icon on the side bar and you can go register. She's got a cookie swap coming up too. Sounds fun!
A couple of friends have birthdays this week, so I whipped up a couple of purses. Maybe "whipped up" isn't the right phrase, because I'm really not that fast at it! Sometimes it takes me longer to pick my fabrics than actually put the whole thing together! This one is my favorite. I used some Amy Butler fabrics I'd been saving for something special. This is the other one I made for my friend who's been my knitting mentor so it's more of a thank you gift than anything. She and I also share a birthday. I love the fabrics in this one too, though I don't know the designer. But I think I did a better job with the interfacing on the other one. As long as they are sitting side by side, I'm sure no one will ever know :)

Our little knitting group is getting together tomorrow. My last project I started on (about five times I've started on!) I discovered is still not right, so I'm thinking I'll un-ravel once again and start for the sixth time! There are no hand knitted socks or sweaters on my to-do list this year. Maybe in 2009 ! Something else to work on!

Until next time!

Monday, December 1, 2008

On To The Next Holiday!

With Thanksgiving over it's time to move on to the next holiday. In fact, with an extra pair of hands around the past few days, I was able to get the tree up and mostly decorated. Even the blog has undergone a little holiday makeover!

We had the traditional turkey, dressing, potatoes and green bean casserole for our Thanksgiving. And I honestly don't care to see another turkey and all the trimmings for awhile! We felt like we were stuffed all weekend but enjoyed it anyway. I'm voting for something different next year, but when it gets that time again, I'll probably be out-voted in favor of "family favorites"! It was nice to have E home for a few days. She stayed around long enough to miss the snow showers and traffic jams up in Chicago land and make it back safely.
Our guests for dinner this year were son-in-law N's mom and sister and of course B, N and E. They paused long enough to get a nice little family portrait.

One more guest, was E's kitty, Decibel. After the first day, she and Beamer were friends again. He even shared his current favorite sleeping spot.

We managed to stay away from the malls on black Friday and instead drove over to Madison for a little old-fashioned main street shopping. Or the girls said they just watched mom shop! But they did have to stop and try on a couple hats in one little shop. Still acting like a couple of silly little girls! Of course we did manage to do more shopping on Saturday and even enjoyed a non turkey dinner at Havana Rumba. I don't know what I was thinking but no food photos folks. Sorry.
I'm not sure what's up with Blogger, but it's not playing nice tonight. Maybe it's the change I made from Explorer to Firefox but the compose screen does a lot of jumping around and I'm having trouble placing my photos. So hopefully I'll have more patience next time for a more interesting post.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

it is
my wish
to all
of you for
a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cutie Pie Pics and Polka Dots

I warned you. There would be grandbaby pics this post. I took oodles and oodles of photos. But I won't force you to look through all of them, even though he is the cutest baby in the country right now. (Sorry all you other grammies out there, I'm just slightly prejudiced you know!)

It's amazing isn't it, how fast these new little people change! Last time we saw him, he looked a lot like his Daddy and Grampa, but I do believe he's favoring his Mama's side of the tree right now. When we see him at Christmas, he'll probably have changed again! At least there's handsome genes on both sides!
This will probably be one of those photos he'll never live down. But I just can't resist! Can you say "drool"?

He's a happy guy - especially when the little Leap Frog sings the alphabet song in the car!

Okay, I'm done now. If you want more Grandbaby J - just let me know. I probably could find another two or three dozen cutie pie shots, like this one!

On to other things. Guess what was waiting for me in the stack of mail that our neighbor had retrieved for us? My Polka Dot and Rick Rack Swap package! Vickie at 2sistersandme had my name and sent some nice things. I almost forgot to take a photo before ripping into all the goodies!I found a cute polka-dot kitchen towel, polka dot tissues, a journal and cover with rick rack, polka-dot tissues, and a knitting pattern book and knitting needles. Plus some other fun things, including the all important chocolate! Thank you Vickie! And thank you Sharon for being the swap mama! I'm sure it is more work than I'm aware!
Earlier this year, Sharon hosted the cupcake swap too. My swap partner for that one was the wonderful Susan. I've been following her blog since then. She has recently posted that her husband is facing some serious health concerns right now. Please add them to your prayers. For the most part, bloggers (and their lurkers!) are a caring and supporting community. Join us in wishing them well.
Until next time - --

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Swap Gifties On the Way

With my Polka-Dot and Rick Rack swap gifties all wrapped and sent on their merry way "back east" to a soon to be blogger friend, I'll let you all have a peek!
I only managed to personally make a couple of the things, but it is surprising how easy it is to find polka-dot themed items in the stores. I hope she likes her goodies. After looking at her blog, (I'll post it after I know she's received the package) I'm amazed at how talented she is so my things will in no way compare to what she can create!This is a close up of the little table-topper. It turned out pretty cute I think and I just might have to make a few more for some Christmas gifts. Lets see, that makes about two dozen different things on my to-do list for gifts!

Back to work on some of those things on the to-do list!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Playing Tag!

With a lack of anything very exciting to blog about today so far I've decided to take my cousin Jo up on the tagging thing.

It is called 6th in the 6th and here are the rules:

The rules…

* Go to your sixth picture folder, then pick your sixth picture.

* Pray that you remember the details.

* Post it on your blog.

* Tag 5 others, and leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Luckily I ended up with a fairly decent picture and not one that I should send to the delete file!

Now that I've posted this I'm wondering what I did with the black cat pumpkin accessories that I used last year!

So now I guess I have to tag some of my blogger friends. Susan, Lucy, Sarah, Sharon, Cheryl and anyone else that would like to join in. And ladies, if you don't feel inclined to play along, I promise I will not be offended!

On another note - I finished my Polka-Dot and Rick Rack Swap package and got it in the mail on Friday. I'm not sure if my swap partner reads my blog or not but I'll give the USMail a few days to deliver and then post a photo of the package I sent. Maybe I'll be receiving my own bundle of goodies in the next few days too!

See you later!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Vacation - The Last Chapter !

I know you all are waiting for the last chapter of our motorcycle ride/vacation:) So perhaps I should get this posted while still fairly fresh in my mind!

Of course the weather turned beautiful again on our last morning in Savannah. We angled our way up across Georgia through small towns and the back roads. As long as we weren't trying to beat the clock to anywhere in particular, we stayed away from the four-lane roads and big cities. Another scene that almost looked like snow were the cotton fields along the way. In many places they were still harvesting (picking?) it. I wasn't able to get a picture but we saw combines similar to the ones we see harvesting corn and wheat but set up for cotton. This old farm girl stills finds it interesting to see the crops along the way. (Daddy would be proud!) We left the flat farm lands and came into the mountains of northern Georgia. We spent the night in the interesting college town of Dahlonega, a very pretty mountain town that is the location of the first major gold rush in the United States. We browsed through a few of the little shops that were still open then picked one of the several nice restaurants for dinner. The next morning we headed out over some of the prettiest roads we'd traveled so far to Helen, Georgia. It was still early and of course D was anxious to get back on the bike so we only stopped in the motorcycle clothing shop. This little town and the whole area would be worth a trip back. Back in the 60's, in order to bring tourism back to the area, the town underwent a face lift of sorts. Everything was re-modeled as a Bavarian village. Pretty neat!

Next stop, Hiawasee. Located almost to the North Carolina state line, this is another town that would make a great destination. Looks like the lake that is nearby, though it is pretty low, would be a great place for fishing, boating and camping. And guess what! They have a quilt shop!! And my biker hubby let me go in and spend some time here at Log Cabin Patchworks ! Of course I bought a few things that I really didn't need, but might someday (you quilters know how that is!) and I enjoyed visiting with one of the owners.
Back on the road. One of my first posts last year was about our trip to Chattanooga and our foggy ride over the Cherohala Skyway. Since we were in the area again, we decided to try it again so hopefully we would have clearer skies and better views. No such luck. Not quite as foggy, but this year we had the added challenge of light rain. The trees I'm sure were quite pretty as we could tell from the spots where the fog lifted a little.

An interesting addition to the ride were the abundance of hunters in the area. Evidently it was BEAR season! One lucky hunter strapped his unlucky prey on the back of his pickup truck. This guy was huge! Poor Smokey, guess the fog wasn't good enough camouflage for him.

Well, this is all of the highlights of the trip. We made it as far as Cookeville, Tennessee that evening. Then Saturday morning we drove the rest of the way home in the coldest weather of the trip. For the most part we were lucky with the weather. I don't think we could have found any better for this time of year. After the challenge of bike repairs to begin the trip we had absolutely no problems the remainder of the week. We were glad to have made the two major purchases before we left of our new Nolan full face helmets and our new rain gear. The helmets are so much warmer and comfortable (once broken in!) with the integrated microphones and speakers. Of course, our American Legend trailer was great to have along so we could carry extra gear (some of which we didn't really need!) and fill with souvenirs (which we didn't!).

Thanks for joining us on our trip! Back to more quilty posts in the near future. Also, check back in a few days for Baby J pics! With the holidays coming, you know fun times are ahead!