Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Family History: A Letter to My Granddaughter

Dear Sweet Granddaughter,

After thinking about you for months, I finally met you on Monday night.  Your mom called me Monday morning to tell me that you were going to make your appearance that day, and asked if I would come be with her for your birth.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Thanks for Life

Most of the time, I don't give much thought to the gift of life.  This past week, however, I have been reminded time and time again just how fortunate we are to be allowed to be here on earth. 

Three events have brought this realization home:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blogging Takes a Back Seat

Big news:  I'm a grandma!  I'll be back to blogging, reading, and commenting in a while, but for now I'm busy with other things.  The baby had a bit of a rough time during the delivery, and will spend some time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), but I think she'll be fine. 

Thanks for the miracle of birth, wonderful nurses and doctors, and medical facilities.


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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: December Visiting Teaching Message

December's visiting teaching message can be found here.  I used one of the suggested scriptures for the handout:



Thanks for the visiting teaching program.


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Happy Thanksgiving!

I thought I'd share another one of my favorite songs:  Simple Gifts. It seemed appropriate today. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Not-at-All Wordless Wednesday: Thanks for Prayers

I just wanted to thank those of you who have answered my prayer request.  The latest update is that the man is now awake and can squeeze his wife's hand in response to questions.  The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers, and asks that we continue to remember them.  This scary situation is looking brighter!

To borrow my friend Debbie's phrase, "Be sure to give your loved ones a hug!" 

Thanks for faith, prayers, and miracles. 


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Baby Blessing Dress

I love the look of heirloom blessing dresses, but know myself well enough to realize the amount of time I could spend trying to sew from a complicated pattern. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Prayers Requested for a Friend

A family from our church is in need of prayers.  A father of 5 children--the oldest is 15, I think--collapsed while running this morning.  His heart arrested, for an unknown-as-yet reason. He is a cross-country coach, so this is very unexpected.  He is currently in the intensive care unit, and his wife would really appreciate prayers. 

Thanks for the power of prayer.


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Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Mom's Pumpkin Squares

Every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, dessert consisted of a choice between apple pie and my mom's pumpkin squares  (or both, of course--it was Thanksgiving, after all!)  This recipe captures the yummy flavor of pumpkin pie without the hassle of rolling out a typical pie crust. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: My Heavenly Father Loves Me

A week or so ago, I confessed that I have a hard time choosing favorites.  Let me be more clear:  I have a hard time saying that any one thing is my favorite.  I have a much easier time saying that something is one of my favorites.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Family History: Adding to Our "Remember When" Stories

Who will ever forget the time I tried to help John and ended up e-mailing his boss John's new job offer?  Though I hope never to top that incident, "The Time We Went to Utah to Celebrate John's 50th Birthday" certainly deserves its own page in our family history story.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: I Am Blessed

I love this message.  I know sometimes all it takes is someone to ask, "How are you?" for me to release all of my frustrations, worries, and concerns.  This is a great reminder to count the blessing in my life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Truncating Blog Posts

I try to learn from the experiences of others, and that trait carries over into blogging.  Karen, from Sew Many Ways, has taught me so much about how to set up a blog.  (She also has great organizational ideas for craft rooms, great blog hops, and so much more.  I highly recommend visiting her blog.) Anyway, when I read this post of hers about how she had entire blog posts stolen, I thought I should probably do something to prevent that from happening on my own little blog.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Baked Eggs in Ham Cups


While browsing pinterest, I found this recipe for baked egg cups.  I loved the ease and simplicity of the recipe, but ended up making an even lazier version--mainly due (we'll say) to lack of scallions and  cheese.  Leaving out the salt and pepper legitimately qualified as sheer laziness, however.  Anyway, this is a simple recipe that can easily be doctored up to be elegant.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: For the Beauty of the Earth

I love traditional hymns, and this one is perfect for the season:



Thanks for the talents of others, who lend voice to beautiful praises.






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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Tag--You're It!


OK, so it's not quite tag, but it's the closest I could find.
 
 

 Debbie from ::Our Old Homestead:: surprised me recently by tagging my blog.  Having never played blogging tag, I needed an explanation.
So like usual there are rules;
 
- every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
- the person who tagged you asked 11 questions, answer them
- ask 11 questions for the 11 blogs you're going to tag
(the people you tag should have fewer than 200 followers)
- mention the blog that tagged you but don't tag back


So . . .  Hello, I'm Kristi, and:
  1. I have a hard time choosing favorites, which made answering some of the following questions a bit tricky.
  2. I hate to cry.
  3. Every spring, I sentence more raspberries to death by optimistically trying to get them to grow in my hot, windy backyard.  (No need to remind me of the definition of insanity.  I know, I know.)
  4. I love old Craftsman-style houses.
  5. I once won the "Most Unusual Pet" award at the city library's pet show.  Apparently not every little girl grows up with boa constrictors in the living room. 
  6. An even stranger award for me, though, had to be my 3rd place trophy for a 5K run.  I'm sure the organizers really wished a fourth person in my age group would have participated in the race.  I never realized that slow and steady sometimes wins the literal race!
  7. From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas, my radio is tuned to the "all Christmas songs, all the time" station.
  8. I love Disneyland.
  9. My kids wish that my idea of vacation involved more relaxing and less walking.  ("Yes, kids, we did just arrive in Boston after a red-eye flight, but we are walking the Boston Trail now.  We are here to have fun!")
  10. I grew up without a television, so I was a bit of a conversation-killer at school.  "No, I didn't see the show last night.  I don't have a TV, remember?"  My siblings were smarter than I, and figured out they could just read the TV section of the newspaper for the synopsis of the popular shows.
  11. I enjoy snorkeling.  (That counts as relaxing on vacation, right?)  I did not like snuba diving.

And now, to answer Debbie's questions:

  1. What is your favorite flower?  Lilacs or roses or daffodils or. . .
  2. Where would you love to visit if you could visit anywhere?  New Zealand comes to mind, but there are so many options.
  3. Do you have a bucket list?  No
  4. What is your greatest fear?  Heights, perhaps, but only if there is real danger of falling.  I have no problem flying in an airplane, for example, but the thought of skydiving terrifies me.
  5. What is your favorite animal?  Dogs, in general.  Specifically, basset hounds really make me smile.
  6. Are you a sweet or salty snack person?  Definitely sweet.
  7. What is your favorite song?  Seriously, I need to devote a post or a whole series of posts to address this question.  There is no way I can limit myself to just one song; I don't think I could even pick only one song per genre.  Stay tuned, so to speak.
  8. What does your weekday breakfast look like?  It varies, but usually is something quick.  Oatmeal, or eggs, or cold cereal.
  9. What is your favorite season?  Today it is fall.  Soon to be followed by winter, spring, and finally summer.  
  10. Do you vote?  Yes, every election!
  11. Will you retire early?  Is this an option for homemakers? :-)
To the following bloggers, I yell:  "Tag!  You're It!"


 
 
Be sure to stop by and visit those great blogs and see their answers to the following questions:
 
  1. What is one talent you would like to have?
  2. What's the last movie you watched in the theater?
  3. Do you play a musical instrument?  If so, which one(s)?
  4. Name one of your favorite childhood books.
  5. Night owl or early bird?
  6. Do you have any pets?  If so, tell us about them.
  7. When you were a child, how did you answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
  8. What is the last thing you planted?
  9. If you had to choose another time in which to live, which would you choose?
  10. What one word would you like others to use to describe you?
  11. What is one of your favorite mottos, sayings, or verses?
     
I wish I could have linked all of the blogs I read.  If your blog isn't listed, you can still play along.  Just choose one of the questions above--or make up your own--and answer in a comment.  
 
Thanks for the wonderful, creative blogging community!


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Backyard Visitor


Can anyone identify this bird from this blurry photo?


Thanks for the beauty all around us.


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Voting!



For my friends in the United States, don't forget to vote today!

Thanks for our system of government and the freedoms we enjoy.


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Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Bake and Freeze Apple Pie

Thanksgiving dinner requires a well-choreographed kitchen dance:  peeling, chopping, cooking, baking--timed so that everything appears on the table at once.  I always try to prepare as much as possible ahead of time.  This year, I'm baking apples pies early, freezing them, and just warming them up on Thanksgiving.  Update:  I would suggest warming the pies at 200 degrees, but checking them after 1 hour.  Warming for 2 hours resulted in a fairly crispy, tough crust.



Apple Pie
 
                  (adapted from Apple Pie by Grandma Ople)
 
 Pastry for 9-inch double-crust pie (see recipe below)
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 Granny Smith apples--peeled, cored, and sliced
 
Melt butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour and cornstarch.  Add water, sugars, and spices, and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer, and stir in apple slices. Cook for a minute or two.
 
Place bottom crust in pan, then top with the apple mixture.  Cover with top crust.  Crimp edges together, cut slits in top crust, and bake pie for 70 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool thoroughly before freezing. 

Pastry for 9-inch double crust pie (adapted from this recipe)

Mix together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Combine 2/3 cup oil and 6 tablespoons ice-cold water, then add to flour mixture.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  Divide dough in half, and roll each piece out between two pieces of plastic wrap.
 
Thanks for do-ahead tasks which make the actual day less hectic and more enjoyable.


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: I Think the World is Glorious

This simple children's song goes along well with the video from Thursday about the importance of noticing the beauty in everything around us.  I hope you enjoy it!





Thanks for the birds, bees, blossoms, teachers, parents, and God.


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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday Sundries: Happy Birthday, John!



I won't say his age, but here are 50 reasons I love him:

1.       He treats me as an equal.

2.       He doesn’t get upset with my mistakes.

3.       His smile warms my heart.

4.       He takes me seriously.

5.       He knows how to have fun.

6.       He’s super smart.

7.       He’s a great dad.

8.       He humors my strange requests (Yes, even when I asked for gardening compost for Mother’s Day.)

9.       He always assumes the best.

10.   He’s a true gentleman.

11.   He shares the same values as I do.

12.   He loves the Lord.

13.   He’s a hard worker.

14.   He’s generous.

15.   He knows his way around the kitchen.

16.   He asks me out every weekend.

17.   He holds doors for me.

18.   He asks for my advice, and values my opinion.

19.   He’s full of surprises.

20.   He’s trustworthy.

21.   When he’s around, I never have to kill a spider.

22.   He remembers all the important days.

23.   He likes to celebrate every holiday (Groundhog Day, anyone?)

24.   He can spontaneously speak in rhyme.

25.   He comes up with the best (worst) puns.

26.   He enjoys new adventures.

27.   He thinks things through.

28.   He makes me laugh.

29.   He always makes me feel better.

30.   He’s my cavalry arriving at the end of a long day.

31.   He always says thank you.

32.   He has many interests.

33.   He’s always willing to help.

34.   He can explain complicated subjects so anyone can understand.

35.   He is patient.

36.   He doesn’t mind driving in traffic.

37.   He’s good with money.

38.   He’s logical.

39.   He measures twice, cuts once.

40.   He can envision the best way to accomplish a task.

41.   He lets me steal the covers.

42.   He claims not to hear the wrong notes I hit on the piano.

43.   He says “I love you” every day.

44.   He's confident, but not cocky.

45.   He is mindful of others.

46.   He remembers to call his parents each week.

47.   He laughs at my jokes.

48.   He’s calm, cool, and collected.

49.   He fixes breakfast most weekends.

50.   He’s my best friend.

Thanks for the most wonderful guy in the world.


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Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Family History: Thankful Stowe


What better way to start November's family history posts than by introducing Thankful Stowe, my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandma? I first learned her name when I was a child, and I remember thinking, "What a funny name!" Now that I'm older, though I still think it is a quaint practice, I recognize the appeal of giving a child the name of a desirable trait.

 
As was often the case back in the 1600s when Thankful lived, everything that I found recorded about her was in relation to a male relative. In Thankful's case, most often she was mentioned as being the husband of John Pierpont, or the mother of James Pierpont, one of the founders of Yale University. However, I recently learned she was related by marriage to a woman whose name I recognized: Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

 
Harriet's husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe, was the g-g-g-g-g-grandson of Thankful's father. Using this cousin calculator, I learned that Calvin and I are 6th cousins three times removed. OK, so that isn't that close. However, I am happy to claim the Stowes as relatives.  In a time of slavery, they spoke out for fairness. 

While I still don’t know much about Thankful, I am thankful for her and her relatives.



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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: An Attitude of Gratitude

November has come around again, and thoughts turn toward Thanksgiving.  I love Thanksgiving;   I love being able to gather with loved ones, and I love having a holiday where the focus is on being grateful for all that we have. 

This short video explains that sometimes we become so accustomed to our surroundings that we fail to truly see the beauty around us, and encourages us to develop the ability to always see the good in the world.  I might have shared it before, but I think it deserves repeating. 



Thanks for November, when it is so easy to remember how blessed we are.


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