Wednesday, January 28, 2009


With the help of my mom, I have been collecting Willow Tree figurines that represent my relationship with each of my daughters.




This Christmas, Mom gave me a fourth figurine, to represent our Sarah...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crafty Christmas

The girls and I gave a few homemade gifts this year. In addition to some knitted gifts, here's what we made....

Rachel made these craft foam snowflake ornaments for her classmates (I'm reminded of a blizzard).

Hannah made these little jingle bell ornaments for her classmates. Note to self: hot gluing 20+ bows and hanging ribbons results in a few blisters!

Here are all their gifts bagged up, tied with wire garland and labled. I won't tell you how long it took. And then, school was canceled because of snow on the last day before vacation, so they sat around our house for an additional two weeks!

I made some strawberry/cranberry and peach jams for teacher and bus driver gifts this year. It was fun to decorate the jars with homespun fabric and jute twine! The cotton batting puffed up the fabric just a bit.

The girls made these gifts for the Grandmothers in our family. Abbie made the candle holder (tissue paper adhered to a glass jar with liquid starch), Rachel made the snowman ornament (his head is a little mirror with white paint sponged on it), and Hannah made the picture frame decorated with Christmas-y buttons. That's this year's Christmas card picture in the frame.
I really enjoyed all this crafty-ness, but next year, I'm starting earlier!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Broadway Baby!

Too bad Abbie wasn't all that fond of dance, because she does the whole costume-and-makeup thing so well!

Sorry, I just couldn't choose just two or three pictures because they all turned out cute. So you get to see all of them!
(Big finish!)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The scary thing is that, in addition to totally understanding how to play the game, she tried to teach me! (It didn't go so well...)

White Chocolate Chewies

I made these yummy cookies for a couple of different events this Christmas, and they were a hit. I got the recipe from the book "The Cake Mix Doctor" by Anne Byrn. I like to use the red and green swirled white chocolate morsels for a pretty holiday cookie!

White Chocolate Chewies

Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
1 package plain devil's food cake mix (NO pudding in the mix)
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets with solid vegetable shortening.

2. Place the cake mix, water, melted butter, egg, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more. The cookie dough will be thick. Fold in the chips until well distributed.

3. Drop heaping teaspoons of the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake the cookies until they have set but are still a little soft in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for 1 minute more. Cool completely on wire racks, 20 minutes.