Sunday, January 31, 2010

Igloo for Rent: Daily Special

ne of the Winter memories I have of growing up in New Jersey is an igloo that Dad created for us. It was big enough that at least two of us could sit inside. I'm remembering two entrances and possibly a "skylight" hole in the roof.

I'm thinking that we must have been awfully small girls at the time, because making an igloo for CJ and RJ2 to fit inside is pretty tough.

Since I didn't shovel the side drive yesterday, I worked from the pile of snow I had left there. It is melting rapidly today, so there's lots of good wet packing snow to work into a mound. Unfortunately, Edie, unlike the video you posted, this is not good Eskimo snow. But, a garden trowel works similarly to an ulu, and I could scrape out the middle of the mound (to a point, anyway. It was definitely too small of a structure for me!)

This is the inside! Wish you could have seen how the sunlight turned the inside walls a greenish-blue color. It was magical!

Alas, RJ2 lasted about 10 minutes in the snow, and CJ is not feeling herself this weekend, so there weren't many igloo dwellers. And with the snow melting as it is today, there may not be much of an igloo left to dwell in tomorrow.

But, that's why you make something of today, isn't it?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Inspired for Chocolate

A Facebook friend commented last night that she was making Rice Krispie treats. I said that we make the Chocolate Scotcheroos version of the snack. Today would be a great day to make this simple and yummy treat with the girls.

So, in typical Sue J. fashion, we dive into making a treat before we check the pantry.

"Light corn syrup. We should have that." (Er.... half that.)

"OK, we'll make half a batch."

"Rice cereal, chocolate chips.... [Pause] Butterscotch chips. Uh oh!" (Er...substitute for butterscotch chips.....)

"Oh, we can use the caramel sauce in the refrigerator! It has to melt with the chocolate chips anyway."

And off we went from there.

Peanut butter in the melted sugar, then add the cereal.

Press mixture into pan. Pour and spread chocolate/caramel sauce on top. Let stand (away from hungry girls) until set.

The gooey chocolate made me think of an unfortunate incident for a tractor-trailer truck riding on I-95 yesterday. The truck, full of candy, tipped over! (Thanks for the tip, Kelly. I mean, not that you did the tipping or anything. Though, if you actually got some chocolate, you might have tipped them....)

Slice and EAT!

Lick fingers and lips multiple times.

Yummy good!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

'Forever' in Blue Jeans

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I'm a little funny about my jeans. I don't believe they have an expiration date.

I buy jeans with my own lifetime guarantee. They should last for my lifetime.

Now, this doesn't mean that I believe jeans never change. We all need to change and grow...become worn, even.

I spend a lot of time on my knees, because it's best to talk to little ones on their level. And they all have a ways to go before they see straight across into my eyes. Just the action of bending--to get baking items out of the lower cabinet, to see if that vacuum is picking up the dirt under the bed, to weed out the green varmints in the garden--causes wear on the fabric.

Worn jeans, even if they sprout tears, are still worthy for wear, per my guarantee.
But, they are not always practical to wear in that condition, which is why I also believe in patches.

Not satisfied with the store brand iron-ons (which don't provide the kind of coverage I need), I started making my own heart patches and embroidering them on my jeans. This involves ripping out the outer leg seam of the jeans and putting it back in. Using multiple functions on the sewing machine gives it a good workout!

Unfortunately, even the best intentions sometimes fall apart at the seams, or the patches. Sometimes, you have to take that last-resort option: Throw them out.

My dear friend Kelly offered me solace. "They have stores for that."

She would know. She helped me buy jeans the last time I went to the store. Showed me that I could remember the size and style I bought and find the same in other stores. Wow, what a concept. But that meant shopping.

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I'm a little funny about clothes shopping. I don't shop well...for clothes...for me. But, this particular blog is not about my shopping aversion therapy treatments. [Kelly is laughing!]

There had to be an alternative. A way to get new jeans but not go to the jeans store for them. Thinking...thinking...sewing machine needs a workout. AHA!

A custom-fitted pair of jeans. $5 in fabric and supplies (at Wal-Mart on a regular trip).

Ah, patches. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

(And two pair beats one, even outside of Atlantic City!)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Wonderland Celebration II

The 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland Celebration was a huge treat! Just the fact that I can say there was a 2nd one shows you just how huge this was.

The weather would reach a balmy 56 degrees by the time the afternoon came, but that didn't stop us from enjoying lots of cold-weather treats and thinking about cold-weather fun.

Here's a sampler:

Four moms and eight girls, and we had a delightful time. What delicious treats! Kelly brought these adorable snowmen on a stick.

Food as art! (And, she says she's not crafty.)

This picture is from the website with the production details that you can find at this link.

Mrs. Patterson5 (with some help from her husband) created white-icing cupcakes topped with marshmallow snowmen. They "melted" so fast, it was almost impossible to get a picture. (That is a snowflake tortilla next to Frosty.)

Mrs. S. brought the best donut for the occasion: white-powdered (of course!). She also gave the girls a hieroglyphics quiz. They solved the puzzle about as fast as it runs on the video.

The J Girls provided for craft time. We made a 2nd mitten swag; the one from last year brought back memories. Hardest part is having to color a mitten to "leave behind." Some girls made two so they wouldn't have to do that. We decorated foam snowflakes, too.

We also made a retro snowflake. Lots of prep in that you need 10 rings of cardboard each hole-punched in four places. But the stringing of the rings with pipe cleaners was easy. Check out the details here. [Edie][And note that the beads were a test project of mine. They worked.]

CJ had a great indoor game idea--a "green" snowball fight. She created two forts and recycled some "snowballs", and the girls had a battle in the "red room." We also played the "Pin the Accessories on the Snowman" game. Last year's break-dancing snowman got trumped by one who was doing the limbo in a blizzard.

It is always nice to be surrounded by friends, even as your ice ornaments melt onto the front lawn! The girls really enjoyed themselves, and the moms got to sneak in a few moments of chat in between the activities of the morning. There was no more wassail punch by the end of the day, though we did have chocolate chip whoopie pies!

Will there be a 3rd Annual? The big girls are getting big. Too big for sweet munchies and crafty snowflakes? Maybe I can start asking God now for a big snow next January. Then we won't have to "pin" anything!

* * *

On behalf of the J Girls, thanks, friends, for all your goodies and being such gracious guests! It was a wonderful morning!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Slice of Life

Couldn't resist the chance to introduce you to Daniel. RJ2 brought him home from Kindergarten yesterday. Isn't he adorable? (I'm not sure how he survived the bus ride here.)

Daniel has very dancin' legs! And look at that smile!! Of course, he is standing next to a cookie jar! Daniel's complexion has a few rough patches, but that means someone is eating apples, so that's OK. He's obviously not bothered by it. His head does fall off occasionally, which can't feel very good.

Daniel joined us for afternoon snack. (Gulp! Try not to picture it!!) Later, RJ2 wanted him to listen to "Playhouse Disney" shows on the computer, and I suggested he could hear just fine from the kitchen table (even lying down). I was very relieved to hear RJ2 say, on her way to get washed up, that "Daniel doesn't go in the shower."

I suspect Daniel will look a little...more mature? the days go on. I hope he continues to have that smile, even if life takes a nibble out of him.

There's a thought for today....

* * *

I know many of you are waiting for the Winter Wonderland Celebration post. It's in the works...might even be a movie! With craft directions!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Say You, Prophets?!

As some of you regulars know, I have a 2nd sporadic blog called In-Between Time.

After a long look at Proverbs last summer, I left the blog alone. I was encouraged to hear that some were still working through the posts and the Scriptures. I have gone back a few times myself to review things I discovered. Gotta love the Archives!!

Today, I'm launching a new study on In-Between Time focused on the Old Testament prophets. It will take many, many, many weeks to complete. I haven't counted out the entire look, but it will probably take me into next year pretty easily. That's OK. It's worth the look.

I'm taking on both major and minor prophets beginning with the earliest written prophecy for which we have books in the Bible. This puts the starting place at Obadiah--a one chapter book, shortest in the Old Testament!

If you do not have an active Bible study going right now, perhaps this is of interest to you. But, many of you are active in other studies, and the blog might just become an occasional visiting place. Excellent. Would love your feedback on what gets uncovered; your contributions make studying so much more fun. (It's like munching on M&Ms while you're trying to let that deep knowledge stick in your brain!)

So, check it out. Invite your friends. Perhaps you can fill your in between times with In-Between Time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The DARE worth taking

There's a DARE champion in our house! We're so proud of CJ.

DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. Our county's sheriff's office sponsors the national program for students in elementary through high schools. Today was graduation day from the elementary program, and CJ was recognized for writing her class's winning essay on DARE and its impact on her life. (The backpack was a nice surprise prize!) I wish I had some of the essay to share, but it was one of those "no parents allowed" projects, per her DARE officer, and the essays have not yet been returned. I did get to read it (though editing was not allowed either!), and it was well done.

What you can't see in this picture--because my flash wouldn't reset in time to take what happened next--was pretty cool. CJ put that backpack on and gave her DARE officer a thumbs-up! Those are the moments that I celebrate, because I know she has not only made a connection to what was said over the years in the program, but she made a connection to the person who said them. And that's part of what DARE is about, too--knowing who you can turn to, who you can trust, when the world presents its alternatives.

With all the challenges facing CJ in this year ahead (you all remember middle school?), I'm glad to know that she had made a choice to keep her mind and body free from that which could be harmful, and that she has the knowledge to back up her choices--knowledge which could positively influence somebody else some day.

Nice job, CJ!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

End of the Recession?

A 2nd visit by the Tooth Fairy in five days' time?! Every drop into the piggy bank counts these days. Should auld acquaintance be forgot!

One minute, she was struggling to get out of bed. The next, she's eating her waffle without any bottom middle teeth! And the tooth is....

The tooth is....

We are operating a true Lost and Found here at the homestead. Guess it beats blogging about red paint! (Sigh...again!)

I'm going to check under the bed....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Haiku: In The Shadow of Grandpa's Once-Lost Gold Shaving

here lives a lost tooth?
On a dust-laden carpet
Under the sofa.

* * *

I guess the Tooth Fairy isn't as concerned with placement as with presence.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Space Available

appy New Year!


RJ2 is celebrating a first. It's just that the event was a little traumatic--being a first and all...

Take 2. Much happier now, except that it's hard to see what we're celebrating....

OK. We're downright giddy now...over the loss of our 1st tooth!!

Hoping the Tooth Fairy accepts digital pictures as proof. It's the only evidence we've got!


Oh well, there are a bunch more where that first one came from. Congrats, RJ2!