Thursday, October 13, 2016

Time again for family photos! What to do?

When I pledged to myself that we would take family photos EVERY year, come heck or high water, I was unprepared for all of the whining and the bitter, sour attitudes, not to mention the annual dilemma of finding a new picture setting and coming up with a new color-scheme for each.  Of course, I COULD just take everyone out in the yard every year and take a quick one in whatever they happen to be wearing (And, unfortunately, some years it has looked like that has been the case anyway.), but that is no in my nature.  I LOVE the "artsy" part of the whole process!  That's the exciting bit for me!  Well, that and having a lovely current picture of the people I love most in the world to hang in my front room for the next year!
BUT...We have been doing this now for some 15 years now and I am out. of. ideas.  Plus Stilman's not here so I'm having a hard time thinking of doing it without him.  Please help!
Here are a few of our favorites from the past.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Amish Country
the plane ride

Indiana:  Das Dutchman Essenhaus

Ohio:  Walmart's hitching post

Amish shopper in Walmart

Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen

 Ribs and homemade pie and ice cream


End of Commons, Ohio

Amish Art

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Eyes

He only mentioned that he was having a hard time reading the board at school a few times so I was a little surprised when I took him in and the eye doctor told me his near sightedness is fairly severe AND he has a substantial astigmatism to boot!
Glasses are miraculous!  Walker suddenly sees with perfection.  -And he's stylin' too.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cake it On

 Yellow cake filled and frosted with vanilla whipped cream frosting.  She wanted a "flower cake" and wanted them made out of sour straws so this is what  we came up with.  She loved it.
Tasty too.
White cake with strawberry filling, frosted with vanilla buttercream and topped with white chocolate shavings.
For a friend.  Didn't get to taste this particular one

BUT... Fallon wanted a "strawberry cake" for her birthday so I made the same thing with extra strawberries on top and I had more than my fair share of that one!  Mmmm...
Yellow cake, chocolate ice cream (dredged in Oreo crumbs), and Airhead tomatoes and lettuce, fondant cheese.
Fun party cake!
I didn't take photos, but this month I also made a German Chocolate cake, with peanut butter filling, chocolate buttercream, and "decorated" with Reese's Peanut butter Cup pieces on top.  Divine!
But I think the favorite was the "Black Forrest" cake:  Devil's food cake, a little chocolate buttercream to crumb-coat, cherrie pie filling, frosted with Cool Whip, and topped with more cherries.  Always beautiful AND delicious.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

One of Those Weeks

It all began on Wednesday.  It was a beautiful day and Jeff was driving with his truck window rolled down when -ZAP!- out of no where a bee flew in and stung him on the lip!  Not only was it a rude gesture, but the sting-site became a giant swollen lump of lip for a couple of days.  OUCH!  (Jeff wondered if that's how it feels to have colajen injections?)
By Friday the swelling had gone down considerably and we decided to go on our Friday night date.  We were on our way to Logan and then decided we'd just grab a bite to eat here in town instead and head back home to catch up on the smooching we'd been missing.  Before our meal was even served we got a phone call from a nearly histerical Quincy to "Come quick!"  Stilman and Walker had been riding home from soccer practice (so at least they were close to home) when Stilman popped a "wheelie" and his front bike tire fell off ("quick release" tire- the clamp of which had been messed with by who-knows-who, but most likely little sisters or neighbor kids just wondering what it was for.) and he hit the street face first.  It took some time to get him cleaned up and dig all the gravel out of his cheek and neck, but we were grateful that, aside from lots of scrapes, some bruises and a few chunks of skin off here and there, he was in pretty good shape!  It certainly could have been a lot worse.  He was feeling pretty beat up of course and couldn't help wondering aloud, "Why does this stuff always happen to ME?"  (-Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder that myself.)
As if that weren't enough to keep us busy for a while, Sunday night Tevya was playing outside without any shoes on (Which of course she's been warned about 746,893 times - if you include the 17 that particular day.) and stepped on something that hurt her really bad.  Being the kind and compassionate mother that I am, I brushed her foot off, pulled something off that looked like it might have been a stinger, and said, "Well, I'm sorry, but that's what you get."  She whined about it all night and I finally had Jeff look at it before she went to bed to make sure there wasn't something else in there like a sliver or something I'd missed in my haste to be so compassionate.  Nothing.
But 1:00 a.m. she came flying down the stairs screaming her head off and I was up with her every hour for the rest of the night trying everything I could think of to make the pain stop.  Next morning her foot was swollen so fat and was so red and she was SO miserable it was certain my instincts had been wrong.  She wasn't just being dramatic after all.  The doctor confirmed she's been stung -probably by some mean yellow jacket, had an allergic reaction, AND gotten an infection!  She missed 2 days of school and we both missed a lot of sleep, but she's better after a bout of antibiotics, lots of Benadryl, and alternating doses of Tylenol and Ibuprofen for 3 days (and nights).  Whew!
I could do without another week like this for a looooong time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Have your cake

Suddenly, over the last month or so I have felt inspired, even driven maybe, to bake cakes. Yummy ones. With delicious fillings and delectable frostings and something akin to lovely decorations. (Obviously I'm about as far from professional as a person can get. Like my little plastic decorating tube?)
Because I am a firm believer that no woman should ever have to bake her own birthday cake. EVER! Especially moms. And because no child is ever going to let their mom get away without having one AND because I'm sure there a
re more women out there who -like me- wouldn't dream of BUYING a cake for themselves when they could make one for $25 less, I've decided to bake birthday cakes myself and give them to my friends who might otherwise feel obligated to bake their own.
I've done regular sized ones for my friends with families, but

I found these adorable little "single serving" size cake pans online which are perfect for those who don't. Monday I took them out for their debut and I was not disappointed! Look how cute these little cakes are! And my kids were thrilled that the cake mix (Yeah, see. Not professional.) made 5 little cakes (double stacked- so 10 individual layers) meaning that after we gave away the two birthday ones, we had three left over for Family Home Evening treats!
These ones are German chocolate filled and topped with Coconut Pecan frosting and frosted with chocolate buttercream. Mmm. Mmm.

Now. Who's going to make MY birthday cake?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Bishop Beard

Happy birthday to Jeff! I saw this "Beard Beanie" and thought it was the perfect answer. Now he can have facial hair whenever he wants AND he can stay warm in the freezing winter weather, AND he can hide from people he doesn't want to talk to! It's pure genious! (We've named it the Bishop Beard.)