Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Baby Stocking

My middle daughter plans to send out Christmas cards this year with a photo of a new addition.  The baby should arrive (a few weeks early) by the end of November.  To accommodate my daughter's vision for her Christmas cards, I followed this pattern for the stocking, and a modified version of this pattern for the hat.  Both worked up very quickly;  I completed the set in a couple of evenings while watching TV.  Since the baby hasn't arrived yet, I had to use a doll as a model for this post's photo.



Thanks for prenatal care and the innocence of babies.


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Simple Tapioca Pudding

Sometimes simple food just hits the spot.  I keep tapioca on hand for one reason:  tapioca pudding.  We usually eat it warm at our house; we still haven't developed the patience needed to wait for it to cool!


Simple Tapioca Pudding
 
 
In a saucepan, combine 2-3/4 cups milk, 1/3 cup instant tapioca, 1/3 cup sugar, and one beaten egg.  Cook on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from stove and stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.  Spoon into dishes to allow the pudding to cool quicker.  If desired, a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream hastens the cooling process.  Enjoy!
Thanks for simple yet delicious foods.


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: Visiting Teaching Message November 2012

I loved Elder M. Russell Ballard's talk from General Conference earlier this month, and knew that I wanted to share part of it with the sisters I visit teach. 

Elder Ballard taught us about honeybees, and how each bee makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey during its lifetime.  That is not very much!  When that little drop of honey is joined with the honey from the other bees, however, the results are significant.  We can be like the bees.

The handout printed on a 4x6 sheet of photo paper, but trimmed down to about 2x3.  I attached it to a little jar of honey.  I found the empty containers in 4-packs at Walmart in the kitchen section, and I just filled them with honey I had at home.  The cute beehive graphic came from the graphics fairy.


 
 




If you have time, you might want to watch this video of Elder Ballard's address.  While I enjoy reading the General Conference talks, being able to see and hear the delivery seems to add something to the message. 




Thanks for small acts of service.


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Family History: Music

I can't remember life without music.  Many evenings, Dad would get out his guitar and we would all sing together:  "Skip to My Lou," "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain," "The Fox Went out on a Chase One Night," and more.  Many days, Mom would sit down at the piano to play hymns or other tunes, sometimes requesting my sister and I to sing the soprano line, while she harmonized with the alto part.  And who could forget long car rides, when "Over the River and Through the Woods" heightened our anticipation of seeing Grandpa and Grandma again?

My mom took piano lessons when she was a child, after her grandmother gave her family a piano.  Her grandma thought that if my mom knew how to play the piano, she (my mom) would always be popular.  Though my mom tells me she was very shy as a child, everyone I know loves my mom, so perhaps Great-Grandma was right.   My grandma also learned to play, though later in life. 


Grandma
My dad's side of the family also enjoyed music.  I've been told that Grandpa never met a stringed instrument he couldn't play, though I don't think he ever had formal lessons.

Grandpa with mandolin


When my sister took up violin, Grandpa passed down his expertise.

I would be curious to know more about the role of music further back my family tree. 


Has a love of music been passed down in your family?   

Thanks for music, which communicates in a way words alone cannot, and thanks for family, for making music a part of my life.


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Silver and Gold Friends

(This is my second post in one week's time in which I mention children's songs.  Maybe I should devote an entire future post to music. . . .)

I believe I was a Brownie or Camp Fire Girl when I learned the little song:  "Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold."  I've had ample opportunity to make and keep friends throughout my life. 

Although I lived in the same house for most of my growing-up years, I've lived several different places as an adult.  In each place I've lived, I've met wonderful new friends.  And in the case of blogging followers, some new friends I've never even met, and come from places I've never even visited. 

Technology allows us to connect over vast distances, but it also allows us to reconnect.  Thanks to facebook, many of my classmates from grade school have "friended" each other.  Collectively, we have identified individuals from class photos and even remembered the words to the (relatively obscure) Christmas song our school sang every December.  We cheer on those with challenges, and celebrate the happy moments. 


Would we have imagined years ago that we would still be in contact with our classmates now?  Probably.  After all, we were singing together, "Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold."

Have you stayed in touch with childhood friends?  Has technology played a role?
Thanks to all of you "Gingerbread House"-singing, 3-legged-race-running, ceramics-painting, field-trip-taking friends of mine, as well as those of you whom I met when we were supposedly past that stage.



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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Time to Tackle: The Hole in the Bucket

Remember the children's song, "There's a Hole in the Bucket"? Liza wanted the bucket fixed, but before Henry could fix it for her, he needed a straw.  The straw was too long, so he needed to cut it.  The axe was too dull, so he needed to sharpen it.  The whetstone was too dry, so he needed to wet it.  Of course, he needed the bucket to fetch the water.  What a predicament!

Fortunately, my tasks aren't quite so circular.  There is hope of finishing. 

John's new job allows him to work from home, but necessitates turning one of the rooms into an office.  Before he can set up that room as an office, though, we needed to empty the room.  We have moved beds, bookcases (and books!), boxes of oldest daughter's belongings, fabric and craft supplies, and family history papers.  As we would find a place for the items coming out of the new office, we would sometimes displace something from a different room, and so on.  However, the office is now empty, and now we're to the "putting it all back together" stage. 

The "room of requirements", originally designed as a formal living room, has become a library, and I'm loving it.  Granted, we are still lacking chairs, but the room is taking shape. 

 
 


Do you have any "hole in the bucket" projects? 

Thanks for songs of childhood and new job opportunities.


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Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Beware the Exploding Cake Pan!

My birthday last week proved to be the most exciting birthday ever, at least as far as the cake was concerned.  Have you heard about exploding Pyrex dishes?  Has your oven ever looked like this?


That, my friends, is my birthday cake.  Youngest daughter had mixed up the batter, poured it into a regular 9 x 13 pan, and put it in the oven at the normal temperature.  It was nearly done when we heard the sound of shattering glass, went to investigate, and found the remains of the self-destructing Pyrex. 

This week's recipe:
Birthday Cake
Go to your nearest grocery store and pick up a cake from the bakery department. 

 Thanks for oven doors, which keep messes somewhat contained and people protected from exploding pans.



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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: What Matters Most?

This short video reminds us to take time for the things that matter most. 




I hope you have a happy Sabbath day, surrounded by those you love.

 Thanks for all the small yet meaningful moments.


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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Sundries: We Have a Winner!


Congratulations to Regan of Floating on a Quilted Cloud!  Her name was picked by Rafflecopter as the winner of the mymemories suite software. 

Thanks for all who entered, and thanks to the mymemories people for sponsoring the giveaway.


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Family History: Someday We'll All Laugh at This

I recently made a doozy of a mistake--the kind of mistake that fills up the "All in a Day's Work" section of the Reader's Digest; the kind of mistake that we all smugly laugh about because we would never do something so stupid; the kind of mistake that becomes a legendary family tale, to be retold and passed down through the ages. 

And no, I'm not going to tell you just yet.  First, I want to tell you another funny story:

The Day My Husband Met My Parents

I met John at Brigham Young University, and we quickly fell in love and decided to get married.  As BYU is 800+ miles from my hometown, my parents did not meet John until the week before our wedding.

After driving for many hours from Utah, we arrived at my parents' house.  It is nestled into a hill in the countryside, surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife.  Greenhouses attach to the front of the house, with sliding glass doors providing access to the living quarters.  The greenhouses have vents to provide needed ventilation and cooling.

My parents and siblings excitedly greeted us as we pulled up to the house.  We all went inside, and John started answering questions.  The first words out of my brother's mouth were, "Are you going to get a dog?  Kristi loves dogs."  Sometime in the midst of the conversation--swoop, swoop--a bat flew by, seemingly out of nowhere.  Up jumped my dad and John, and they spent the next little while shooing the errant creature back to the great outdoors. 

Afterwards, my mom explained to her future son-in-law that we had never before had a bat come into the house.  (Presumably it came in through the vents in the greenhouse.)  My dad was impressed with John's good-natured, solve-the-problem demeanor.  If John wondered at all about what he was getting into by marrying me, he didn't let on. 

Fortunately, he still takes life with me in stride. 

Yesterday, John asked me to please check his personal e-mail box, and forward an expected message to his work e-mail address.  I dutifully agreed.  I even changed the subject line, as the particular e-mail contained a new job offer, and John had not given notice to his current boss yet.  Forgetting that I was signed in to his account, I forwarded the e-mail to john._______@______.com.  As soon as I hit "send," I received confirmation:  "Message sent to John _______."  The only problem was, the last name displayed was not my husband's last name! 

In tears, I quickly called my husband and announced, "I did something really bad!" 

"What did you do?" 

"I sent the e-mail to the wrong John!"

"Which John did you send it to?" 

"John ______" 

"Oh, my boss.  It's OK.  Don't worry."  I was glad he seemed so non-plussed, but I was still crying when I hung up.

A little while later I got an e-mail:

Kristi,
If you knew John ________, you’d know that everything will be just fine. I just sent him an e-mail that said:
-----------------------------
John,
I would like a few minutes to talk with you as soon as you get a chance.
A little while ago, my wife forwarded you an e-mail from my home account (oops). Hopefully you haven’t opened it yet. If you haven’t, please don’t open it. If you have, then you can probably guess what I want to talk about.
Thanks,
John
-----------------------------
So, the only risks are:
)      He finds out about my news a few minutes earlier than I intended
2     He has a funny story to tell his wife when he gets home
3     He thinks you love him (depending on what you wrote)
All is well,
Love,
John

As it turned out, John the boss was in meetings all day and didn't even see the e-mail, so my husband was able to be the one to break the news to him. 

And I've got a new tale to add to my collection of "Stupid Things I've Done While Trying to Be Helpful" stories.

How about you?  Any funny stories that didn't seem so funny at the time? 

Thanks to John, the most patient, wonderful husband ever.


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Be Part of the 20 Percent




Reading the newspaper on Sunday, I stumbled across a statistic that left me thinking, "Really?"  I read that according to the HomeGoods Home Census 2010, only 20% of the people surveyed were happy with their home decor.  Now, I realize that conclusions based on surveys vary depending on the phrasing of questions, the sample of those querried, etc.  However, I've been up on my mental soapbox all week long, wondering how in the world people can be so unhappy about something over which they have total control.  (Obviously, this little Thankful Me blog has its work cut out for itself!)

I've been known to ask a child, who is complaining about an outfit, "Well, who dressed you?"  Likewise, who is decorating these homes of unhappiness?  No wonder the thrift stores and garage sales are filled with perfectly good items; apparently the vast majority of the nation quickly becomes disenchanted with the look and style of its furnishings and accessories. 

Do I have plans, ideas, and dreams about changes I could make in the decor of my home?  Sure I do, but that doesn't mean I'm unhappy with the current state of affairs.  Am I willing to spend tons of money for the latest, greatest look?  Absolutely not.  The latest or greatest doesn't bring me happiness.  Most of my decor has memory or meaning behind it:  family photos; a quilt made for John and I; a knitted throw that I made for my grandma and received back after her death; houseplants to bring life and beauty into the rooms.  I enjoy having books on the shelves and musical instruments available to play.  The love in a home does not depend on the things in the house, but the things in the house should reflect the love in the home. 

Now that I have that off my chest, I'd love to hear your views.  Are you happy with your decor?  Any insight into the thoughts of the 80%?

Thanks for love, which makes even the humblest of circumstances beautiful.


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