Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Now as for the prize selection, I have one to add. Several of you ladies without children or grandchildren emailed to ask whether I'd consider knitting the curly scarf for the winner. I hadn't thought many of you liked it much, but of course I would! Consider it added.
By the way, Gianna asked that I make something for everyone who enters the giveaway. I love that! And I very much wish I could fulfill her request.
They're delicious. Perhaps not good for you (or your teeth), but scrumptious nonetheless. And pretty. Your kids will love you for this.
Unsalted butter, for wax paper or foil
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring, (optional)
6 medium apples, or 12 lady apples
1.Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper, or aluminum foil; butter the liner, and set aside. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, 3/4 cup water, corn syrup, and food coloring, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-high. Insert candy thermometer and continue to boil until temperature reaches between 300 degrees and 310 degrees (hard crack stage), about 20 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, insert a wooden stick into the top of each apple, pushing about halfway through; set aside. When mixture reaches temperature, immediately remove from heat. Working quickly, dip apples in sugar mixture until completely coated. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; allow to cool.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
perhaps not the best photo aesthetically,
Now for the giveaway! You tell me about a kind or generous thing someone (a child, husband, friend, anyone) has done for you - something that inspired you and filled you with gratitude. Leave your comment from now until Friday at 12PM Pacific Time. One per person, please. I'll use the Random Number Generator to select the winner on Friday afternoon. The winner will receive a custom-made outfit from yours truly, from any of the selections below. (Note that the samples pictured here are examples of outfit design only. Fabric selection will be determined by me and the giveaway winner upon contact.)
or a peasant top/bloomer set
(above combo in different fabric with a sash)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Tomorrow is my birthday and I've got a special giveaway planned for you, so you definitely want to check back. Giving presents on your birthday is so much more fun than getting them! So....Happy Monday, and see you tomorrow!
Monday, September 21, 2009
So when we discovered on Saturday morning that our neighbors were having a garage sale, we spontaneously decided to put a few things out on our driveway. And then a few more. And a few more. We got rid of a lot of extra "stuff". My clothes drawer (and I only have one) is now half-full and it feels great. Kitchen cabinets are cleaner and less cluttered, and it feels great.
And our dining room table and chairs is gone too. The girls thought school on the floor was fun today. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to go without a dining table, but for now....
....it feels great.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
*personally guided-tour with this link :)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I was disappointed. The situation just wasn't what I'd expected. It certainly wasn't terrible, but I think for me the drawbacks outweigh the benefits at this time. Funny, I honestly wasn't expecting any drawbacks....me and my optimism....I always see things as much better than they actually are.
I'm just going to be blunt here. I hope I don't offend anyone - I thought about leaving this out, but I knew many of you would ask. The other children give me hesitation. In my short five minutes at drop-off and another five at pick-up time, I saw attitudes (mostly in the older boys from the upper classes) and personal appearance, though acceptable in many schools today, demoralizing and unsuitable for good example and truly educating the whole child.
The learning was great. Gianna came home captivated by her wealth of new and exciting knowledge. I am very pleased with what she learned, but as a mother I know this aspect of the experience is only a small part of the overall learning.
I am going to have to tell Gianna sometime in the next few days that she will not be returning. She is a very good girl, and I know she will respect her parents' decision. But I know she will be tremendously disappointed. And I'll make it clear that I am too.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Today Gianna will attend her first class outside the home that doesn't fall in the category of fine arts. Our charter homeschool provides several enrichment classes the parents can choose from if they wish. We didn't take advantage of it last year, but this year is different, mainly because I'm just more comfortable in my schooling shoes. The homeschooling moms who did it last year all raved about the classes, and the materials used are solid. The class size is nice and small, and Gianna's teacher happens to love Charlotte Mason! Gianna is only taking one class, but she gets to stay for lunch and games/activites with the other children before I pick her up. She's excited, and I'm excited for her!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
A little info:
The trip is scheduled for November 23 - December 3. Among the itinerary highlights will be a trip to Mother Teresa's orphanage in Kigali, a tour of the Genocide Memorial (said to be a difficult tour, but beautiful), a journey to Immaculee's village and hiding house, and a visit to the place where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in the 1980's in Kibeho - the only Church approved apparition site in Africa. There will be morning prayer and daily mass of course.
If any of you feel called or are interested in participating, just send me an email and I'll forward all the details and contact information. Thanks!
Friday, September 11, 2009
...and the panels have been tied back with old, fraying scraps of fabric.
So I made some new tie-backs....
....and gave the bottom a 14-inch hem.
Sorry, the lighting is terrible in this bathroom, so it's hard to get a good photo.
So happy to check this off my to-do list! My husband will be too. :)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I cleaned the refrigerator...inside, on top, under (yuck!), and behind. Most of you probably do this every couple weeks, but I haven't looked under my fridge in about six months. I resolve to increase that frequency NOW. Not because God wants the underneath of every mother's fridge to sparkle, but because He gives me the time and the energy to accomplish it. (I hope you can see this really isn't about refrigerators...it's more general than that).
I cleaned the oven and washed the fan filters above the stovetop. Again, long overdue. It's pretty inside now.
In the combox from two posts ago, Emily from Laundry and Lullabies asked (seriously paraphrasing here), How do you do it? I gave her a response there I've thought and prayed about a great deal this past year or so. We're all given different gifts and different hardships. The key I'm realizing is to know who we are, to recognize what is asked of us, and then to do it. For me, I wasn't blessed with the gift of a large family. But I am blessed with time and energy and a positive spirit. It is my vocation to ensure I don't waste that time, and to do more both in and outside the home. I'm starting inside the home in order to form good habits, and then I need to extend myself outward in whatever capacity God calls me. It's going to take time to figure that out.
I used to think I'd trade my abundance of time for the ten children I always wanted. I reasoned that surely other moms wouldn't give up any of their children to have more free time - which was to me a sign that it was acceptable for me to wish for a large family. Now I see that those mothers and I have in common the only gift that matters - the call to holiness, and heaven. For me, being grateful for my time and using it well, not wasting it, is essential.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Pattern: Shibui Knits Swirl Scarf by Jane Field
Yarn: Silk Cloud
Despite the many holes and mishaps, she's smitten with it, and she makes it all worth it.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
So, every day I plan to accomplish something I've been putting off around the house, and then I'll post the progress here. If you care to join me and share, I'd love it.
Over the weekend I washed all our windows inside and out. They're sparkling. I'm not putting the screens back on because the glass looks so bright and clear without them.
Then, I took the girls' old, well-worn adirondack chairs that have been sitting in our backyard collecting dirt....
....and painted them.
Much better. Feels great. See you tomorrow!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
But then I read posts like this one (be forewarned, if you read one of Katie's posts, you will not stop until you've read them all), and this one, and all my "needs" are put into perspective. One thing I know I truly need, is to fill my mind with more of what I've been reading lately. This kind of spiritual brain-and-heart food can only do good, and hopefully help me "grow up".
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
We actually started the year off last night, not with any reading or writing, but by having Father Sebastian over for dinner. Father is the kind of priest one can approach with a question such as, "After consecration, when does the Real Presence cease to exist?", and you know you'll get the right answer. Father will be overseeing Gianna's First Holy Communion preparation this year. Last night he blessed her studies, pressed her with simple yet profound questions, and revealed beautiful mysteries to her young, innocent ears.....HIC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM.....Body. Blood. Soul. Divinity. All at once under the aspects of bread and wine.
She was captivated. So were we. It's going to be a marvellous year.