October 29, 2011

mmmmm... Lovings...

Oh - it's been too long since I've joined Paisley Jade's wonderful weekly accounting of all that's good in our lives!  So many things to be thankful for . . . but I'll just list a few:
#3 son enjoys life & is a happy, healthy 6th grader. His school spent this past week focusing on fitness, health & being drug-free.
#2 son earned his brown belt in karate a couple weeks back. (Passing older brother on the way was a sweet bonus!) He competed today, and earned a medal for his kata.
#1 son's school & football team were on Friday morning's news show.  I love how he's boosting a friend on his shoulders. He's very excited to have had a starting position in the final game of the season . . . (And quite thrilled that his team finished the season undefeated. He predicts another State win, with another gigantic ring at the end of the line . . . )
. . . which brings us to SENIOR NIGHT. Soooooooooo not ready to give this up!  Very proud of his dedication through four long years of hard work & bruises. (Any bets as to whether or not I cried when his name was announced & we walked to the center of the field with him?)
Class of 2012 football players & cheerleaders
We were so happy to be able to witness the princess' wedding to Prince Charming.
I embroidered a fluffy/comfy-warm throw for them as they make their abode in a much cooler climate.
That does not exhaust all I'm thankful for; although, I guess it is time to save your eyes & quit all my rambling reminiscences -- but not before I link you up : 

October 26, 2011

picture on my mom's fridge

There is a ragged photograph held by magnets onto the freezer door.  It is a not-so-subtle reminder of how precious my family is.
An alternate title for this post could be "God's Protection."

On July 1, 1996 my mom, my nephew, my son & I had driven up north to celebrate my grandmother's birthday with her & Grandpa.  On our way back down that afternoon, there was a traffic back-up at the Carefree Highway exit due to a fatal accident. We slowed into the single lane the signs & cones indicated; as did the car & truck towing a small trailer behind us.

However, a semi-truck coming down the hill behind them did not slow, but swerved into the line of traffic. (Accident report indicates he was probably dozing.) The semi hit the two vehicles between us & was air-born when he hit the trunk of my mother's car.

The impact sent the semi & those other two vehicles into the median where there was an immediate fireball.  Our guardian angels, conversely, used that same impact to hurl us into a 180° turn landing us facing north on the far shoulder -- well away from the burning vehicles.

Zachary, my 2 and a half year old son, was seated in his car seat behind my mom, the driver. Andrew, who is two months older, was beside him. I cannot look at this picture without crying; so thankful that we were cradled in the safe arms of Jesus that day. Andrew had a spiral fracture to one leg. Zach emerged without even a scratch!  Well... kinda... The paramedics found a piece of safety glass in his mouth. Which he had put in there. Thinking it was candy.

October 20, 2011

Spiced Caramel Apple Crisps

Sure signs of Fall: crisp Granny Smiths in the produce aisle, sales on Halloween candy & innumerable pumpkin recipes clogging up the blogosphere!
I was quite excited when Sheryl, the Lady Behind the Curtain asked if I'd like to participate in her Improv Cooking Challenge for October using apples & caramel. TWIST MY ARM
My men approved this recipe & can attest to its deliciousness.
Sooooo... first I made the caramel sauce. (You don't have to go to the bother, you could just go out & buy a jar...)

wow! didn't realize my flash would make this look so light...
Then I went to work on the apples.
(still in with my Pampered Chef apple/peeler/slicer/corer...)
Prepared the tortillas...
Filled 'em up...

Gave 'em a little oven time...

Needless to say, a dozen of these didn't last too long since a couple of my boys were on Fall Break.

Here's the recipe:
Thank you, Sheryl, for letting me join in today!

October 19, 2011

Costuming again

Other than decking out my boys for Spirit Week, Storybook Character Day and your basic ninja/Darth/Indiana Jones play-acting, my costuming efforts have been few & far between recently.  Imagine my delight last month when Aunt Margaret asked for assistance in putting together her Christmas costume for her church choir programme.
This is the pattern she chose. She'd already picked up a Thrift Store formal (needs a little work...) that we'll dress up with the cape, muff & hat. The gown is what you might call aubergine in color -- not quite purple, yet not burgundy... 
I love the detailing on the back of the cape! 
We're planning on black braid & tassels; because we found the perfect black & aubergine  houndstooth today! It is a wool blend. 
We will use a black lining. STAY TUNED! (I might have the muff finished tomorrow!)

October 5, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara a la Shingler

Here's another recipe going out to my friend Lori. She's only a PE teacher, so I have to make it visual for her. (Just kidding -- I took the pics a couple weeks before she asked how I cook the dish . . .)
We start with a pound of bacon.
To save stove-top space, I cook it in the oven.  Spread bacon slices out over your pan and put in a cold oven.
Set the oven to 400°.
Cook to desired doneness (about 20 minutes) turning once.
Drain bacon. Crumble.
Sauté onions & garlic in some olive oil.
Boil water (with a bit of olive oil) for noodles.
(We use whole wheat pasta from Costco.)

OK -- here's where stuff goes pretty fast, so I don't have pictures until the dish is finally done.  Here's what has to happen:

  • In a large bowl beat 4 eggs, add cracked black pepper to taste
  • Drain cooked pasta & mix with beaten eggs (the hot noodles will cook the eggs)
  • Continue to "toss" so noodles don't stick
  • Add bacon and onions & garlic
  • Toss in 1/2 cup grated parmesan (or amount "to taste") or you could even use the kind from a can
  • Serve!

This last time I chopped the bacon before placing in the oven. (It cooked more evenly & saved the crumbling time...) We also added basil fresh from the garden & raw garlic, instead of browned.  The hubs likes to sprinkle red hot pepper flakes over his...

October 3, 2011

"Weekends were made for Snickaloaf"

Oh! How I Tim Hawkins! 

I've found my next cooking inspiration!
("So good, makes you wanna slap yo' mama") <--OK -- that's from another one of his videos...

October 2, 2011

The Quilt

I gave you a couple little peekies of this sweet baby boy's quilt here, here, and here. (oooops! here, too...) I received a "Thank You", so now it's safe to post... ☺
I totally loved the fabrics I collected for this piece. Some I had on hand (those are the ones that probably show up a little wrinkled in the pre-cut pics...) but the rest I picked up at JoAnn's & WalMart.
After I decided to style my quilt after sew4home's modern baby patchwork, I set up my design using Microsoft Publisher. It looked like this:
After I made all my cuts, my paper looked like this:
and my stack looked like this:
I pieced it all together:
I pieced the lonely multi-dotted flannel strip into the blue flannel backing:
I pinned the batting to the back. Since I needed the strip on the back to line up exactly with the second strip on the front, I decided to hand baste both sides of the strip.
To facilitate pinning the rest together I used my patio door as a "light table" -- works very well!
Next came the tedious machine quilting 1/4" from each seam of each block & strip. (My shoulders were sore for a week!)
(notice I never claimed to be able to stitch a straight line!)
Had to straighten out some edges:
I cut my bias binding from the tiny striped fabric & stitched it around the quilt.  (I took the quilt with me on a "party bus" trip to my son's football game.  I figured since we had about 200 miles to travel, I could finish with hand-stitching the binding.  I did take the quilt out of the bag but only tried about three stitches... it was way too hot!)
I did eventually finish the binding & applied my label.  I mailed it off on the day he was born.