Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Turkeys

If you'd like to read more about our Thanksgiving, hop on over to my brother's blog! This photo- that my brother took- is the only one of mine that was in focus. Don't ask. I think I need a new camera. It couldn't be the operator...

Hope you all had a great turkey day! We certainly did.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quote of the Week

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you today's guest blogger, Brook Noel:

Tuesday Tips from Brook Noel, Make Today Matter, LLC.

Taming the Dinner Hour: 9 Ideas for Theme Dinners
One of the best techniques I've found to simplify supper is to simply assign each night a "theme." Now, some of you may be organized enough that this isn't necessary, but for those of us who have found all-too-much comfort in the cardboard of a takeout box, this is a winning strategy. Simply take a weekly calendar and next to each day of the week, write down a theme for the evening. Below you'll find examples from my own cooking closet. For example:

Finger Foods: This could be appetizer trays of fruit, vegetables, cheese and crackers, mini-sandwiches, hot dogs on sticks--anything that can be tackled by hand... literally!

Breakfast for Dinner: If your family is at all like mine, a leisurely breakfast of omelets, pancakes, sausage and accompaniments only occurs when you are traveling and hit the Sunday brunch buffet. Try doing a breakfast for dinner. Eggs and pancakes are quick and easy to prepare and by doing them in the evening everyone can enjoy them before racing off to their appointed destinations.

Pasta Presto: You pick the type and the night for Pasta Presto. Perhaps it's spaghetti, fettuccini, macaroni, lasagna--just pick a sauce and pasta and check a weeknight off your list.

Meat and Potatoes: Unless you are a vegetarian, it's best to designate at least one night for the good 'ol American standby.

Some Assembly Required: Whether it's pizza, tacos or baked potatoes, this night features a main course that each family member can customize to their liking.

Kid's Cook (or spouse cooks, or mailman cooks): You get the picture--someone other than Mom gets to man the kitchen (and the dishes) for this night.

Soup & Sandwich: There is a reason almost every restaurant offers a soup and sandwich special--it's a hearty, healthy and wholesome combo!

Make It and Bake It: When in a rush there is nothing like the beloved casserole. Choose your favorite, throw it together, and toss it in the oven for a 30-minute-bake. Don't forget to double your recipe and reserve one for freezing.

Lasso Your Leftovers: I dedicate this theme to my mother. For years, my mother insists on saving food--never wasting a biteful. While I find this quality admirable, I find it interesting how much food is wrapped carefully in plastic so tightly it could be donated to NASA, only to sit in my refrigerator for longer than George Burns was alive. This night is dedicated for anyone else who hoards their leftovers--now is the time to bring 'em out and bring 'em on--potluck style.

Deal With It Dinner: I must confess, this is one of my favorite themes. It basically involves letting someone else deal with the cooking or letting the family forge for their own findings in the fridge.

So, do you have a favorite "theme night" dinner that your family loves? I need all the help I can get in the kitchen! Leave me a comment with your favorite theme night dinner- or one you'd like to try.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Paper Piecing and "Out of the Box" Tutorials

I taught these techniques at my October card class. (I'm only a little late getting it posted, right?) Paper piecing is very simple, with no special equipment necessary. This technique is how I was able to have three colors on the owl. You can learn that technique along with how to create the "out of the box" focal image on my CTMH website.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On the day that you were born...

the angels got together
and decided to create a dream come true
so they sprinkled moondust in your hair of gold
and starlight in your eyes of blue...

Name that tune! You can actually look up what the #1 song was on the day you were born (or whatever date you'd like- graduation, parents' anniversary, etc.) by going here!

The #1 song when DH was born was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones.
Mine was "A Horse with No Name" by America.
A's was "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy & Monica.
M's was "All for You" by Janet. (I don't know either of the girls' songs! Where was I when they were born?!? Not listening to Top 40 obviously!)

Please post your event & song in the comments- year is optional! Oh, and can you name that tune? I remember it as a favorite from my childhood.

Snow Flurries!

Yep, you read it right! We had snow flurries this morning! Even though I'm against the Christmas lights that are already up in town, they sure were pretty this morning with the snow swirling around. (I just think the lights should go up after Thanksgiving. Just sayin'.)

It's not as cold this morning as yesterday but the wind chill is fierce. Today's high will only be about 41. (Weather forecast provided especially for my traveling parents who are enjoying the balmy 70s in Australia!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quote of the Week

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Super Saturday

My girls and my nephews (5 mos & 25 mos).

Need I say more?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My friend Chunkygal's recent blog post asked us to comment on what we're thankful for. The founder and president of Close To My Heart (the scrapbook company for which I am an independent consultant), Jeanette Lynton, is sharing something each day that she's thankful for on her blog, so here's mine:

I am thankful for my family & friends, living in the USA and all the freedoms we enjoy, my faith, having more than we need, scrapbooking, our pets, work that is (usually) rewarding, good health... Hmm, I feel a scrapbook page coming on!

Please leave me a comment and share what you're thankful for this year (or a link to your blog where we can all read it).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank a Veteran

Please thank a veteran today for the freedoms we enjoy! Happy Veterans Day to all who served our country.

If you'd like to read what a few students have to say, please click on over to my class blog.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Art & Soul TV

If you love paper crafts like I do, be sure to check out Close To My Heart's "Art & Soul" webisodes. Just go to my CTMH website then click on CTMH TV button on the left. Enjoy some quality crafting time from the comfort of your computer chair.

Let me know what you think of these webisodes. Also, I'd be happy to help you make the projects if you'd like.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday in Atlanta

Our dear friends (and parents of Miss A's BFF) suggested we take the girls to see High School Musical 2 at the Fox Theater, so off we went to Hotlanta yesterday. It worked out well that we were able to take my parents down to fly to Australia for a month. (You can follow their journey at the Traveling Bells & let 'em know I sent you.)

Since we were making a day of it, we took the girls to the Georgia Aquarium to see the Titanic exhibit. Though there weren't as many artifacts as I had hoped, it was still quite moving. What a tragic loss of human life. Interesting facts I learned:
*The first class cabins were quite spacious. They had their own private bath with running hot and cold water.
*At about $45K (in today's dollars) first-class passage did not include all amenities; some required an extra fee.
*Second class was still incredibly nice. Bathrooms were shared between cabins.
*None of the china, etc., carried the Titanic name. They did sport the White Star logo so that the pieces could be used on other White Star ships. The different classes had different china or in the lower classes, porcelain.
*Third class only had a few bathtubs for all 700 passengers, but it wasn't the problem you'd image because most people only bathed once a week anyway.
*The 28-degree salt water is below freezing but not frozen. While that seems obvious, when you read this fact with your hand on a block of ice, it sinks in that more people died of hypothermia than of drowning.
The fun side of the day included watching the pair of belugas whales and four whale sharks.

Trying to touch the rays and sharks in the touching take was not as easy as it looked! They feel like velvet and sandpaper respectively.

The Fox was indeed fabulous. Our seats were waaaaaaay up high, but we all enjoyed the show. What talent! (Dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory- a treat from my Emory days- was a perfect choice for our two familes and oh-so-close to the Fox.) The girls covered themselves w/a blanket before we got out of the parking deck and slept the whole way home. Miss M thought it was the fastest trip we've ever made back from Atlanta. Daddy & I didn't think so, but it was an uneventful one.
If you've read this far I appreciate it! Thanks in advance for saying a prayer for my parents while they travel.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

Here is the Devil's Daughter and the Hip Hop Funky Girl ready to trick or treat. (Hmmm, does that make DH the Devil?)

Having fun at the trick-or-treat event on the town square with the Jr. Ranger and his Bear Cub brother (AKA the nephews).


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