January 30, 2007

Birthdays are still fun!

Birthdays are still fun after 40! I can officially say this since I just celebrated mine over the weekend! When I woke up and went to the kitchen (to start the tea water!) I found a pretty bouquet of flowers and a card on the table...... somehow Pete snuck them in late Thursday night! (Actually, that is why they came home late from practice!) He knew if he got flowers after worship team practice he could get them inside with the guitars etc. and I'd probably already be in bed vs. getting them after work and chance freezing them out in his truck awaiting the perfect time to smuggle them in!! (His plan worked!) And then, as if flowers weren't enough, he took me out for dinner that night too! (What a guy!) I also was given a beautiful silver cross necklace with a rose in the center of it and an awesome dragonfly suncatcher!! THANKS EVERYONE! :)

Saturday we had been invited over to a friend's house for dinner...... they had birthday cake for dessert!! :) That was fun!! Then on Sunday after church, Audrey took me to a movie & dinner at Panera Bread!! What a wonderful weekend!! By the way, if you want to find a good movie to watch........ Audrey & I HIGHLY recommend "Freedom Writers"!! This is a definate MUST SEE movie!! She and I have decided this will become part of our collection when it becomes available!

This is how my birthday weekend went.... AND to top it off; when we got home Sunday night I didn't have to make the guys' dinner AND the kitchen was cleaned!! I have an AWESOME family!! THANK YOU ALL for making 'my day' into a weekend of love!!

January 16, 2007

Care for a cup of tea & a blueberry muffin??

Good Morning My Friend ....

The muffins are warm out of the oven and the tea water is still hot! (Sure, I'll make a pot of coffee... if you'd prefer!) I thought I'd share one our family favorite recipes with you! A number of years ago, Pete and the kids and I planted 30 blueberry bushes and watched them grow and eventually put out fruit... a few years after that we had SO MANY blueberries I was begging for people to come pick them! Honestly, we had sooo many blueberries in the freezer that I could bake muffins EVERY morning all year 'round (plus blueberry pancakes, pies and blueberry coffee cake on a regular basis) and JUST BARELY be finishing up our supply when it was time to start picking again! I think at one point we had 35 gallons (over-stuffed ziplock bags!). Can you imagine your kids NOT wanting hot, homemade muffins? Our kids were sick of them for a while! Oh what I would give to have that supply again... THANK GOD for my parent's generosity with their crop!! FYI: We did transplant some of the bushes from our old house to my parent's and we will order another dozen or so bushes this spring to be planted here!! Give us a few years and we'll be asking for help again!!
Here's my blueberry muffin recipe!! (As a side note... the original recipe, before I made a few changes to it, was that of Charlotte Pease. She was one of my dad's customers when I was a kid and she also has had the Pease Public Library in Plymouth named after her & her brother. He was one of the WWII pilots. They both passed away a long time ago.)

1/4+ C. light olive oil or canola oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/2+ C. milk
1 egg
1 C. sugar
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1+ C. fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4+ C. chocolate chips
(Preheat your oven to 375*) Mix the first 6 ingredients well (I use a spoon) then add the flour & baking soda in and mix thoroughly. Add the blueberries & chocolate chips and fold in carefully... over-stirring will make the batter blue although it won't change the yummy flavor at all! (Trust me on this... I've done it a few times!) Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins (spray Pam will work too). Bake at 375* for approx. 20 minutes... or till they turn a golden brown!!

If your family is like mine, they will ask for them again and again! Let me know how yours came out... as you can see from the above picture, they don't stay around long enough in my house to take a picture of the full dozen!

I've enjoyed our visit.... hope you have too! Have a blessed day!

January 15, 2007

FYI.... Just in case you are wondering....

Just in case you are wondering, my computer has been doing some whacky things!! For example, I am not too sure what color you are seeing on your screen when you look at my blog... but when I set it up, I THOUGHT I was choosing a shade between sage green and olive green, with cream & brown/sepia for the writing & borders! This morning one of my friends told me (MUCH TO MY DISMAY!) that on her computer it is/was a gray with purple & yellowish writing.... and honestly I forgot what other colors she said! LOL Needless to say, for those who know my tastes.... that wasn't me! LOL ... OH MY!! Since then, I have been tweaking the color scheme so please bear with me! My goal would be a muted blue or that lovely shade of sage/olive green that I THOUGHT I had already picked!! Hmmm... good thing we have a sense of humor! Like she said to me "I asked you what you were doing with your colors!" I responded rather strongly that I liked them! Neither one of knew that we weren't looking at the same thing!! THUS HER QUESTION (and decision NOT to go there) after and MY ANSWER! :) Hope you are all laughing too........

January 14, 2007

Finally, the 'Quilts' in living color!

About three years ago, Audrey and I took a quilting class at a local quilting shop. We had alot of fun and each made a lap quilt with the design called "March Winds" this is a pattern that calls for nine different colors for the top. I discovered that I really enjoy making them! Since taht time I have made a few lap quilts and then had the 'bright idea' that I wanted to make full/queen sized quilts for Audrey & Austin for their 16th birthday in March '06. The funny part is..... I told each of them that I was making one for the other one!! This enabled me to sew when either of them was home so that I could make progress.... they were sweet about keeping 'lookout' for the other one and even made sure I had no scraps left behind!! On their birthday I was truly able to surprise BOTH of them with a quilt!! (OK, I had the tops finished but still needed to put the backing & batting & tops together!) Audrey's quilt is on the top right made in various shades of green, yellows and white!! Austin's quilt on the left is made in blues.... dark blues, light blues and aquas. My next challange was to make Travis a quilt for his 19th birthday this past November. I had asked him what colors he likes and when he ever said 'electric green' I thought to myself... what in the world will I do with this one?! The morning Audrey & I were heading off to the fabric store God gave me a cool picture of Travis's quilt! It was to be black & white with the electric greens & an elecric blue in it! WELL... that is Travis all right!! I hoped we could find what I had in my head.... LOL I found some cool black patterns... some white w/black music notes and an awesome variety of other black & white prints! I also found a black fabric with red & green chili peppers for his backing since he is also into growing peppers and making them into pickles! He loved it! He said he wondered if he was going to get a quilt since the twins did!! It was fun to be so sneakey!! I couldn't wait for TJ's birthday in June to make his, so I finished up Travis's by mid November and got started on the next one to be done by Christmas! His quilt is made of dark reds, a variety of blues and a couple of prints! I found a navy with white stars and a neat print of all different colored pool balls! (I used the pool ball print for his backing!) The kids all like their quilts and I have to admit I was rather pleased and surprised with myself .... I started these huge projects and even MORE importantly, I FINISHED them all!! It wasn't as hard as it looks... and I want to make more!! :)

January 12, 2007

Who would EVER think ....

It is the 12th of January in New England. Most years by this time my kids are planning for their first ice fishing trip! The gear generally has been sorted, lines checked, jig sticks ready, food & water, hot cocoa mix & mugs, Coleman stove & propane, mittens & hand warmers, boots & wool socks ... all the stuff needed to ensure a fun and relatively warm day out on the ice!!
You'll never believe what the boys are doing today! All three of them are playing basketball with a few other guys at the park! OUTSIDE in t-shirts playing basketball.... it's unheard of! :) They are taking advantage of the 'warm' 40* (give or take) weather while they can!! The weathermen are predicting snow for Sunday night and plummeting temperatures for next week.... I suppose then they can start looking for the mittens & boots instead of sneakers and basketballs!

January 8, 2007

"Don't tell me God doesn't care about the small seemingly insignificant details...."

Saturday afternoon Audrey brought in the mail...... we had received a couple of packages, sales flyers and a heating bill. One of the packages was a back ordered dvd but the other package had me a bit perplexed! I recognized the return adress so I knew it wasn't something 'odd' but still wondered. I tore open the brown paper and found a second layer of wrap that said, 'some things are worth opening twice, right?' Ok, by now my curiousity is peaked! I removed that final layer of wrap and discovered a perpetual calender called "Days of Tips & Inspiration for Quilters". How did she know?? I had tried to order this for myself prior to Christmas and it was out of stock and no back order was offered!! I was dissapointed but never said anything to anyone, I didn't even comment on it to God.... but HE KNEW ANYWAYS!!! He KNEW my desire (not a need)..... as simple as it was, HE KNEW AND HE CARED ENOUGH to prompt my friend to bless me with this gift! Isn't God so cool..... I hope you can find a simple blessing in your week to re-affirm in your heart the awesomeness of God!!

January 1, 2007

Good-Bye 2006 & Hello 2007!

2007 has ushered itself in with a bit of snow & freezing rain. Evenso, the tree behind the living room window is beautiful! The branches are coated with ice and they look like they are wearing glass gloves!! Icicles are beginning to form on the clothesline and the rock wall along the property line is covered with snow.... a truly breathtaking site! (Sorry, I can't say the same for the roads & highways!) :) It is a perfect day to stay home, watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, probably see part of a football game, enjoy munchies and maybe even put a ham in for dinner! (I'm thinking that our plans to travel 25+ miles north to spend time with friends should be put off till next weekend... :( RRRAAATS!)

It is hard to believe another full year has gone by already!! YIKES... where did the time go!?? My latest bedside reader is "Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent" by Charles E. Hummel. So far it is striking a chord within me with this one quote... "Our greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important ones." OUCH!! It goes on to say, "It raises the critical problem of priorities. We live in constant tension between the urgent and important. The problem is that many important tasks need not be done today or even this week. Additonal hours for prayer and Bible study, a visit to an elderly friend, purposeful time with a child and/or spouse: these activities usually wait a while longer. But often the urgent, though less important tasks call for immediate response and gobble up our time. Endless demands pressure every waking hour." OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! And that is only on page 10 I have a another 121 pages to go! I'm excited to read this and learn how to REAPPLY the truths of setting priorities AGAIN!!

Whatever you choose to do this New Year's Day... I hope & pray that it involves family & friends! My prayer for 2007 is that you will all "Be safe", "Be wise"," Walk with integrity","Love God with all your heart & mind" and that you will "Keep your loved ones close enough to hear their heartbeats yet far enough to allow them growth!"

God Bless You!!