Thursday, December 27, 2007

Celebration Burn-out

Does anyone else get tired, I mean, tired of celebrating? And I am typically a people-person, get-together, celebrating {especially when food is involved}, kind of gal, but I am really getting holiday-weary. We celebrated with my mom, step-dad, and brother on Sunday. My mom is really the best. She brought over the entire holiday meal {ham with all the fixings} and cooked it and cleaned up afterwards, knowing I would not be able to do it with a newborn in the house. I did manage to make some spiced nuts and these to accompany the meal. {Alicia is to blame for introducing us to the Oreo Truffles. I am addicted!! I am going to make them in other flavors for as many future gatherings as possible!} The hubster, kiddos & I all took our first family photo in front of the tree, as that was the only gift my mom requested this year. {I will post it as soon as I get a chance.} Then, shortly after my mom & step-dad left, my dad & step-mom arrived to spend the nights until Christmas day. My dad did an amazing job of cooking breakfast, an awesome Christmas Eve dinner {prime rib, folks!}, and cleaning up afterwards. This *somewhat*, but not quite, made up for the fact that they let my kids open all their Christmas gifts from them on Christmas Eve morning while hubster & I were still sleeping. I. Was. Mad. But we won't spoil all the holiday cheer by "going there". On Christmas Day, my dad & his wife left in the morning & my sister-in-law arrived with my niece by mid-afternoon. I cooked Christmas Day dinner {roasted chicken, people!} and my sister-in-law got some much appreciated baby time with Sebastian. The girls went to my in-laws to spend the night last night & will be there again tonight, giving me a much needed break. Seriously. Great gift! My grandma & aunt are coming over to deliver gifts and "celebrate" tomorrow during the day {barring a snowstorm} and all the in-laws are coming over on Saturday to "celebrate". All this celebrating is tiring me out. I guess it's the combination of my parents being divorced which doubles the holiday events, added to the in-laws and all the other extended family that we are expected to celebrate with. Christmas for my family lasts, like, half the month of December. And this year, we aren't even traveling anywhere, as everyone is coming to visit us! I really can't wait until after we "celebrate" the New Year and can return to some semblance of life as usual.

Anyone else out there tired of celebrating?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Magic: The Out-takes

Here are the photos that didn't make it into our holiday cards. These are so funny, it makes me want to make a scrapbook {huh? what's that? do I even remember how to do that?} page out of them. Seems like it's just the one child that is having a hard time taking a good photo. Can't imagine trying to get even more children to pose nicely for a picture. Good thing I know how to use Photoshop. I may just have to cut & paste the good poses together!

And, drumroll please, the winning photo:

And here it is all dressed up in the template I designed:

Here's hoping all your holiday photos are filled with love & laughter!

Holiday Magic: Trimming the Tree

I made sure to put up the tree on Thanksgiving Weekend. I wanted to make sure that it got done before the baby's arrival. Of course, half the lights weren't working & required two separate trips to the Wally World. Half the day later, we finally got the tree up & decorated. Take a gander:

::finding the perfect spot::

::she was *so* into decorating::

::daddy helps Sienna to hang a few high up::

::holiday decorating burn-out::

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Big Day

a.k.a Birth Story ~ Part Two

Friendly Caution: If you are uncomfortable reading about dilation or get weirded out by the word "cervix", then just go ahead and skip this post!

So after the deer incident, I wake up Wednesday morning with mild contractions. I didn't suspect anything other than those pesky Braxton-Hicks, but these were accompanied by a backache, giving me the sneaky suspicion that this was the real deal. They were about 10-12 minutes apart, sometimes longer, so I wasn't sure whether this was actual "labor". I called the hubster around 10:30 am & told him I wasn't feeling well. I mentioned the contractions & he requested that I call the doctor's office. I was advised not to come to the hospital until they were 5 minutes apart. {Good thing that God had planned for me to have a doctor's appointment already that afternoon or I would've had an unplanned homebirth.} I told hubby to come home early to take care of me. I rested. I Knitted. I Sudoku-ed. {I *love* Sudoku!}

My appointment was at 3:30 pm. We all went as a family, hoping that maybe the doctor would send me to the hospital. I saw Dr. Z. The nurse asked how I was feeling & I told her that I thought I might be in *early* labor. So Dr. Z examines me. She has a puzzled look on her face during the examination. I am thinking, "Oh Great. I am still 2-3 cm or something like that." She informs me that I am "at least" 6 cm, but she can't really tell because one side of my cervix is completely dilated. She asks if there is any chance I can go directly to the hospital. {She told me the next morning that she didn't want to make me nervous, but was really thinking that I better get to the hospital, like, NOW.} We all arrive at the hospital, my mom meeting us there to retrieve the children.

I am admitted & checked by Dr. F {new doctor in the practice if you are following my abbreviations}, who tells me that I am 8 cm. WHAT???!!! This is seriously unbelievable to me. UN-BE-LIEV-ABLE. During my last labor I was at 2 cm and already in a lot of pain. The doctor and nurse kept asking me if I was sure I didn't want anything for the pain. It was bizarre. I wasn't even really in that much pain. I felt like a woman from the Baby Story, just la-de-da during labor. I was positive for Group B Strep, so I needed to have pencilin & waited 3 1/2 hours before my water could be broken. Dr. F thought I would go pretty fast after my water had been broken. I tried pushing at 9 1/2 cm, but with no luck. My contractions were pretty strong at this point, but not unbearable. I did ask for an epidural while waiting to dilate the rest of the way. I didn't realize that the anesthesiologist would need to be called in. Yeah. Would've liked that bit of information a little earlier in the process. I waited. Ten minutes. Fifteen. Twenty. By this time I was feeling like I had to push & really, my body just couldn't help it anymore. Dr. F says, "Go ahead & try pushing." I push & much to my disbelief {and the doctor's too} I feel his head coming out. The bed hasn't been broken down yet. Doc doesn't have on any surgical apparel. She says, "Please wait. Let me get my gown on." as she runs across the room to retrieve the surgical tray. Through my bloody-murder-type scream I tell her I can't wait. She says, "Please at least let me get my gloves on." Again. Body. Just. Won't. Wait. His head is out & with one more push his body splashes out & doc delivers him while sitting on the bed. More disbelief when I read the scale from across the room. Eight pounds, fifteen ounces. I. Can't. Believe. It. Doc shows me her hand & I just have to laugh as she managed to get her hand into the palm of the glove & delivered the baby with the fingers of the glove just hanging off. Funny. Just as amazing is that I need no stitches. WHAT?! After delivering a nearly nine pound baby?!! Amazing. Really. No drugs. No stitches. A nine pounder. God really does exist ~ LOL!

In all seriousness though, I really could see God's hand in caring for me that day. I had many people praying for me & I am sure that that made a lot of difference. I still can not believe that I was able to deliver such a big baby, drug-free & with no stitches. It makes me feel like I conquer the world now. I hadn't set out to do that, but it just sort of happened upon me. My body feels like it has had a much quicker recovery. I don't know if it's just because it gets easier with each child or if it's due to the type of labor I had.

So now you know. It's not that every birth story isn't a miracle in and of itself, but for me, this one really stands out & I am still in amazement over the whole thing. I leave you with this,
"Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." William Shakespeare

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh Deer!

a.k.a. Birth Story ~ Part 1

Technically, IT hit US. On Tuesday, December 4th, season six of the TV series 24 was released on DVD. Once hubster remembered this fact, he was on the horn with our nearest Blockbuster reserving us a copy of the first two DVDs. Of course the weather was.....blizzard-y. Nonetheless, we all piled in the car and trekked the 7 miles to retrieve the DVDs. This is *so* reminiscent of last winter when we were driving through snowstorms to various Blockbusters to rent the 24 DVDs. We didn't mean to get hooked on Jack Bauer, it just sort of happened. Hubster casually mentioned wanting to see the show, so we rented season one. I barely paid attention to the first few episodes, as I was in The Knitting Zone, but finally, I couldn't help myself. But, I digress. As we were traveling down the road, we suddenly spot "a six-pack of does", as hubster puts it, near the opposite edge of the road. We weren't driving too fast, maybe 40 mph. He starts honking the horn. The first doe darts across the road. The rest of the does start to follow. Hubster tries to manuever the car between the pack & is somewhat successful. He makes it in between the first and second doe, but we don't quite clear the pack and that second doe slams into the rear door of the driver's side, right where my two-year old was sitting. I shriek. Hubster tells me to stay calm. I say, "You probably killed him!!" Hubster tries to convince me that the deer just has a mild concussion. My Braxton-Hicks get stronger at this point. The rest of the way Sienna keeps asking various questions about the BANG-BANG {the noise the deer made when hitting her door} and whether or not Sebastian would be scared of it. We get the DVDs and watch the first two episodes. {Wayne Palmer as president? Whoda thunk it??} The next morning, I woke up in early labor.

We blame it on the deer. I can't actually say that "we hit a deer" because, like I mentioned before, technically IT hit US.

P.S. Welcome to my newest reader Mon who has been reading from the beginning and commenting on old posts! I will answer your cooking question as soon as time allows biggrin

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Just stopping in.... present our newest addition!

::Sebastian Judah::

::weighing a whopping 8 pounds 15 ounces, measuring 21 inches long::

::big sisters Tatiana & Sienna are so proud::

We are all at home and doing great! I will share more about his grand arrival as time allows.
It really was miraculous {not that all births aren't}, but this one, for me, was especially special. Blessings to everyone who prayed for us before, during, and after the delivery. Thank you for covering us in prayer & lifting up my hands when I was weak. God is so good!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Reindeer Games

Thanks to Saralyn for providing this little diversion while I am still "waiting". I *love* Christmas! It is definitely my favorite time of year. So here goes:

1. Do you put up a real tree or artificial? Artificial; We have *never* put up a real tree. Too much hassle.

2. When do you put up your tree? Normally around the first weekend in December. I usually do most of the decorating, so whenever I'm feeling froggy. This year though, we all put it up together on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

3. When do you take down the tree? After the New Year

4. Do you like eggnog? If yes, spiked or not? I don't dislike it, but would probably like it better if I tasted it homemade instead of store-bought.

5. Favorite gift received as a child? I honestly don't know. I remember getting two Cabbage Patch Dolls & the game Mall Madness that I was really excited about.

6. Worst Christmas gift ever received? Hubby's first gift to me while we were still dating. He built it up to be something wonderful, something I needed, and something that would make me think of him whenever I used it. I, being the woman that I am, was hoping for something sentimental. It turned out to be a cordless phone. We laugh about it now.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? I like the Miracle on 34th Street remake with Dylan McDermott. And I'm not sure if you consider it "Christmas-y", but Rick & I both really like The Family Man.

8. Have you ever recycled a present? Yes! Mostly gifts for the kids...

9. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Really fancy or comforting meals like Prime Rib or a big Ham with all the trimmings. Gingersnaps always leave me feeling festive too though.

10. Favorite Christmas song? don't have one

11.Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crowds & the over-commercializtion of a Holy-day {especially among "Christians"}

12. What you love most about the holiday? I do appreciate all that Christmas represents, but I also really love the festiveness of it all, the opportunity for family traditions, gathering close with loved ones, decorations, music, and Christ's Spirit in it all.

13. How many reindeer did Santa have? 9.

14. Best Christmas memory? The childhood excitement of Christmas Eve and the delight of waking early to find my stocking full of goodies ~ Me too, Saralyn!

15. If you could have one Christmas wish what would it be? That Christ would come to the hearts of all my loved ones ~ Ditto again.

I can't wait to see what ya'll enjoy {or dislike} about Christmas as well! So I will tag Alicia, Beth & Erin! Happy Reindeer Games!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Final Days

My energy tank is officially on "E". I can honestly say that I am now tired of being pregnant. I never remember feeling this way with my two girls. Maybe it is the impending holidays and all the hustle & bustle that typically accompanies it. Maybe it is the pile of sewing projects that for some reason I just have no passion for. Every time I walk by the sewing table, it's as if the fabric holds its breath, hoping, just hoping, that I will stop to give it some love & turn it into something beautiful. It all collectively *sighs* as I pass on by, as do I, wishing that I could do more. And seeing as I have no energy for the things I love to do, the things I really don't like {cleaning, laundry, dishes} are most definitely doomed. I am barely online anymore, pausing only to check my email & the blogs of my nearest & dearest.

I am trying to be patient, I really am. I want to finish this chapter of pregnancy with grace & continued appreciation for the miracle of life. Not knowing how many, if any, more children we will have, I try to be grateful for all the moments that I have left with my exceedingly enormous belly. I feel especially emotionally drained & just plain worn out. I just feel like our lives {and the lives of some of those I will be relying on} are in a holding pattern, just waiting for the moment when I get to say those two precious words, "It's time." So, if you are of the sort, please pray for me in my final days of pregnancy. It will lift my spirits to know that you are out there praying.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

This post is also known as, "The Ridiculously Extreme Measures I Will Take to Get a Great Deal on Fabric."

I guess I was in denial about how many people would want to get a killer deal on flannel {99 cents a yard}! Is flannel really THAT popular? Apparently it was either denial or ignorance. After a really great night of sleep, I woke up feeling well rested, despite my alarm clock not being set to go off until 7:30 am. Good thing I didn't wait for that alarm or I would still be at JoAnn's waiting to get my fabric cut. I make the 40ish minute hike to the JoAnn Superstore, stopping at Panera beforehand to fuel up my tank. I arrive at JoAnn's about 7:30ish. Parking lot seems pretty full, but plenty of spaces left at the back & no need for excessive circling. I score a spot near the front. YIPPEE! I get my cart & start looking around. Humph. Out of probably 200 or so bolts of flannel, there are about 15 left on the shelf. I notice everyone's cart is filled to overflowing with flannel. Seriously people, what are you doing with 20 bolts of flannel? I start to develop my flannel acquiring strategy. I do some more looking around. Check back for the flannel. Humph. Still nothing. I notice A LOT of people waiting to get fabric cut. I think that I am so smart, but really I turn out not to be that I will take a number NOW, then do more looking while I am waiting for my turn at the cutting counter. My number is 87. I actually check back at the ticket machine because at this point I am in disbelief since they are serving number 23. Here's where the denial really sets in. I look around some more. I pick out some beads for a little gift for my mom. I look at Christmas fabric. I notice there is a bin where they are putting the recently cut fabric {mostly flannel in there} where I can scoop it up before it goes back on the shelf. I score some cute circus flannel & some owl flannel. I keep going back to the bin & the shelf. I acquire several solids and a jungle flannel {destined for a crib sheet}. I decide to "hang out" in the pattern cutting area. It's quiet. Plenty of room & seating. I get thirsty & help myself to a bottled Dasani from the front cooler {of course I paid for it at the end}. I start to panic. I have a 11:15 doctor's appointment in Woodstock. I start weighing the importance of going to the doctor versus getting my good fabric deals. Yes. I am that crazy. It is now 9:20 am and they are only on number 26. Yep. Moved up 3 numbers in one hour. My logical brain now starts timing the number calling. I realize that the likelihood of me delivering this baby BEFORE my fabric gets cut is extremely high. I walk around a little more. I notice another line near one side of the store where they usually cut the upholstery fabric on the really big bolts. I approach the counter. "Are you calling the numbers also orrrr..................???" "Oh, NO. We don't have a ticket machine. You just get in line." I feel a mixture of dumb luck and guilt. Lucky that I figured out this little "secret" line, yet guilty that I will probably get my fabric cut before the some people that have been waiting longer than I have with their tickets at the other counter. I get in line. I am about 8th. I meet a really great lady in her early 60's, who turns out to be my fairy shopping godmother. She gets me a chair from the pattern area so my 45 week pregnant belly I can sit down while waiting. She gets me another water bottle. She pushes my cart. I hope the Lord blesses this lady's pants off today. The way she treated me, a total stranger, almost brought me to tears. Seriously. The kindness of a stranger can be very overwhelming. {Or is it just all the hormones?} I continue to calculate the rate my line is moving. I start to feel relieved as I don't think I will have to abandon my cart after all to make it to the doctor's office on time. After waiting in this line about 1 1/2 hours, I get the fabric cut. I feel badly for the people in the other ticketed area as they are only calling number 70. I would still have been waiting. I wait in line for the checkout. Giddy excitement again, when the line up at the front moves QUICK. Too bad I get the putsy kid who can't read my fabric ticket and has to type in each one by hand, then blaming me, scans my coupon before he has rung up all my items & now I am not getting the discount on that part of my order & he can't fix it so he has to start ALL OVER AGAIN. I would've made it to my appointment on time if it weren't for that checker. I call ahead out of courtesy to let them know I will be late. I arrive at the office & everything is right with the world again. Hey, a girl's gotta get her good fabric deals when she can!

Note to Self: When you are 37 weeks pregnant, do NOT drink TWO water bottles & then expect to be able to hold it for 2 hours. If you try this you will be very uncomfortable & will barely be able to walk because of all the pressure.

P.S. I am one centimeter. I was praying for more, but I guess it's better than 0.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Crafting Method

Thanks for all the nice words, ya'll! I feel like I am nesting already. The cleaning & organizing has begun to set-in ;>)

In the last post Saralyn asked one (very serious) question: how do you find the time to craft--from deciding what you want to make, to finding a pattern, to actually completing the project--and homeschool? I'm having a horrible time keeping my house in order while homeschooling and simply gaze longingly at the stash of material in my sewing corner! Any tips would be much appreciated.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to make before I actually do it. Planning how I will assemble something or what type of fabric I will use or even making sketches and approximate dimensions of the finished product. It was the same way when I worked as a pastry chef: I would review & review in my mind what I wanted to do first, like how to assemble 500 pastries or how I was going to decorate a cake, etc. so that way when it came time to do it, it was like I already had rehearsed it. This sounds kinda silly, but then I spend less time hemming and hawing and trying to figure out what to do next.
{This works for other areas of my life as well!}

I keep a folder under my bookmarks called "tutorials". That way when I come across something {during my morning blog/computer time} I want to make, I just file it away for when the mood strikes. Less time searching around for the needed instructions and all my ideas are neatly tucked in one place.

I do a lot of my pattern cutting at night after the kids are in bed, while I am unwinding or watching TV.

I have a dedicated sewing area, which is my "formal dining room/playroom". I can't tell you how much this affects things. It is in the main part of my house so I am always near the kids, either with them right in the same room or just an earshot away. I can do a little at a time as the kids {!} allow like a few minutes of ironing or organizing my next pattern, etc. It is connected to the kitchen as well where we homeschool so occasionally when dd is working on something self-directed, like a workbook or craft project, I can sit for 10 minutes or so and sew. When I was an avid scrapbooker, my workspace was in the basement & I really had to make an effort to go down there to use it. This one thing has made a huge difference.

We only homeschool for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day. This is formal school, not including gametime or reading or other learning activities.

I don't have the cleanest house on the block. I'm sure this may seem "wrong" to some people. I consider my house to be in decent shape most of the time, but you wouldn't want to eat off the floor and there is a small layer of dust on the edges of my fan blades. I really find that, since I am a creative person, I need some sort of outlet for that energy. It makes me a more fun, more relaxed, more emotionally healthy mom. I think all moms {dads too!} should do a little something for themselves, whatever it is they enjoy, whether it be exercising or reading or going for walks or bubble baths or cleaning/organizing {!}, on an almost daily basis. Our families will all be better for it.

And last but not least, I have a wonderful husband who supports my hobby & has hobbies of his own which I support. We both understand how these outlets benefit us personally & the how those benefits carry over to our family.
There is many an occasion {about once a month, especially during the warmer months} that he will take both of the children for the entire day to his parents so that I can do whatever it is I wish. Prime crafting time! We also have 3 other sets of grandparents {my kids basically have 4 grandparent houses} that like to take the kids for the day or even overnight. More time to myself! This is actually happening today, when my mom is taking the girls to the movie theatre & then overnight for a sleepover. I'm sure I'll get some sewing done, then hubster & I are going to take off to Janesville, just to see what's there.

So that's how I do it. Hope that isn't more than what you wanted to know, but it is a question I get asked from time to time. Maybe today you will carve out a little time for yourself to do something you enjoy. Cheers!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sew and Sew

Since the completion of my bag making fiasco extravaganza, I feel like a new woman. I am keenly aware that my personality is just not suited to projects that required an extended amount of focus. I like shorter projects that I can finish in a day or two, otherwise I lose my interest and motivation. Here are some of the things that I have been working on. I *love, love, love* that most of these were finished in less than a day, in one case, only 20 minutes!!

Notepad Holder
I made this as a birthday gift for Erin. It is loosely based on this pattern for the Notetaker, but is made for a 5x8" pad of paper & has just a simple paper & pen holder on the inside. {Be sure to check out this other super cute pattern from Pink Chalk Studio!} I have two more assembled that are waiting for interfacing {and new owners around Christmastime}! It's a great way to use up little pieces of fabric & so practical too ;>)

Baby Burp Cloths
It's about time that I made something for myself, or in this case, the wee one. Both of my other babies were pukers excessive spitters, so I made these burpies extra absorbent just in case. I *love* blue and orange together! All the patterns have both of those colors in them, so I made one of each pattern with a blue backing and the other with an orange backing. Each burpie is topstitched with a zig-zag stitch for sturdiness and style ;>) This would be a great project for a beginning sewer & also would make a nice baby shower gift, dontcha think? It's also relatively inexpensive when you get the flannel on sale like I did. I have plenty of fabric left over for coordinating bibs or other baby accessories.

Criss-cross Coasters
I think these are pretty neat, but maybe you are not a coaster person. I really don't use coasters, but I would just because these look so pretty. I am planning on using them in my Christmas gift baskets, along with some homemade pumpkin butter and strawberry preserves and other handmade goodies. I followed the super-easy tutorial here. This is another great beginner project and also so inexpensive {great hostess gifts, girls}! All it requires is cutting & sewing in a square. No need for top-stitching or hand-finishing! Instead of using just another piece of fabric in the middle, I used sew-in fleece, which I believe has some sort of thermal properties for extra protection of your surface. Since I am using a rotary cutter, all the cutting went really quickly. Whenever I do a project like this {and the burp cloths as well}, I always work production style. I do all my cutting first, then all my sewing, then all the trimming & turning, then all the topstitching {if necessary}, then all the pressing. It makes everything go so much smoother.

Fall Napkins
I fell in love with this fabric when I saw it on a tablecloth at Alicia's & knew right away that I wanted to make napkins out of it. I am trying to build up my napkin stash, not only for special occasions, but for everyday use. I plan on making some kiddie napkins to use for breakfasts & lunches, instead of paper towels all the time. I think it'll be more frugal in the long run, not to mention prettier! Hubster must've really liked them because he said, "Whoa! You should make those as gifts!" Usually he just says something like, "Nice."

Easy Toddler Belt
I have been loving the Sew, Mama, Sew blog this month as they are doing 30 days of handmade projects, complete with tutorials. {Sorry, no picture of this one!} I found this idea there & made it the very next day! I already had the metal rings & just used up some stash fabric for the belt. I added a layer of sew-in interfacing for extra sturdiness. Another simple project for the beginning sewer and is perfect for a boy or a girl.

That concludes this edition of Sew and Sew. Hope maybe you were inspired, by these {mostly} simple projects, to create something of your own!

Monday, November 12, 2007


I was tagged by Erin to expose share eight random things about myself. So here they are:

1. I was born with one crossed eye. It couldn't move anywhere & was permanently looking inward until I had corrective surgery at 15 months. I had to wear an adhesive patch {kinda like a round band-aid} on the opposite eye {AARGH Mateys!} for several hours a day for years. The patches even came with little stickers so I could decorate them. Now the eye has overcorrected itself & I have a hard time looking people in the eye with
both eyes at the same time. People don't realize that I'm talking to them or turn around to see who I am speaking to. It is actually very frustrating & kinda embarrassing. So, yeah, I'm talkin' to YOU!

2. I have been sleeping with a body pillow for the last 6 years, since I was preggo with my first child. I can't sleep well without it. I take it with me whenever I spend the night somewhere.

3. I have NEVER tried a brussel sprout or an oyster...or a cigarette for that matter. NEVER.

4. I have been out of the country 6 times: four times to Mexico, once to Jamaica, and once to Guatemala.

5. I didn't receive my first speeding ticket until last year. I was more upset about the fact that my record was no longer "perfect" than I was about the expense and hassle.

6. At the moment, I am addicted to ice. No. Seriously. I think it has to do with the pregnancy hormones. I'm sure this can't be good for my teeth. I fill up my glass 3/4 full with ice & just add a little of my beverage. The ice is best when it has been sitting out for a bit & softens up some. I like smallish slightly crushed ice best. I have even asked for it as a separate cupful in the drive-through. Yep. I'm weird.

7. While babysitting the girl next door, when I was about 12 or 13 years old, she was hit by a car. We went for a little bike ride down our street. Literally only about 2 houses down from where we lived. There was a car coming, so we all pulled over to the side of the street. I, with her little sister on one side, and she had pulled over to the opposite side. I said, "Stay there." Of course, at the last minute, she decides to cross to my side of the street. Thankfully the car wasn't going that fast, but still. The ambulance was called & she checked out fine. Let me know if you need someone to watch your kids next time you and husband go out ;>)

8. I enjoy memorizing and reciting lines to movies. Mostly my favorites like "While You Were Sleeping", "Sweet Home Alabama", "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "You've Got Mail". I'm sure this really annoys some people, but that's me. I especially love all the witty banter in You've Got Mail. Although lately, when something goes wrong at home, hubster and I say to each other, "Why, oh why, didn't I take the blue pill?" {from one of his faves}

Most everyone I know has already been tagged. So I guess all that's left to say is... don't you love Illinois in the fall? "I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if only I knew your name and address."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just for fun

I took a quiz here to find out what color I would be if I was one. Here are the results:

you are plum

Your dominant hues are red and blue. You're confident and like showing people new ideas. You play well with others and can be very influential if you want to be.

Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

If you take the quiz & post the results on your blog, leave a comment so I can check out your "color". Happy Thursday!

P.S. 35 days left to go.......

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

To market, to market.....

I mentioned a few posts ago that my mother-in-law has been trying to persuade me to make some bags for her to sell at her work {a public school of all places, ha}! So I finally did it. I planned. I cut. I sewed. I re~planned. I tried to use as much fabric from my stash as possible, throwing in some newly purchased stuff to keep things exciting. Here are my fruits:

{just big enough to fit a cell phone, ar key, debit card, some cash & chapstick. kinda like the modern girl's answer to a fanny-pack.}

sling tote bags
{I have one of these myself & it is the perfect size for my Bible, notebook & a couple extras to carry to church.}

lil Ballerina bag
{It's quilted on the outside & has a zippered pocket on the inside.}

simple large totes
{a nice sized fully lined bag}

quilted messenger bag {front & back}
{this is my favorite! I *love* the fabric & the style & had so much fun with different quilting patterns. I should've gotten a picture of the inside. The underside of the front flap is a chocolate brown & pink polka dot corduroy. It has a patch pocket and a zippered pocket inside as well as a magnetic snap closure. }

Even if I don't sell very many items, it was still a great learning experience & definitely helped to hone my skills. I got a little carried away with all the fabric yo-yos, but they make such a cute little embellishment & are great for using up scraps! And last but not least, I wanted to come up with a business name & logo {ya know, to make me seem all professional}, so this is what I picked:
Pink is very me & the canary is a nod to my maiden name, Canary. I drew the bird free hand on a piece of paper, then scanned & tweaked it in Photoshop. I printed the name of each item & selling price on the back of each tag. Maybe all this professionalism will help sell more bags. Hope you've enjoyed hearing about my "market" experience!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Soft Pretzels

The girls and I made our own kind of fun last week by trying a recipe for homemade soft pretzels. We've enjoyed getting them as a snack at Sam's Club, where we occasionally shop. Sienna was particularly interested & focused on mixing & rolling & waiting for the dough to rise. We used this recipe from a back issue of Family Fun magazine and made three traditional and three cinnamon sugar pretzels. Mine turned out a little bit chunkier as I had a hard time rolling the dough to be 1/2" thick. Take a whiff ~ er, gander:

"A dough divided can not stand...."

Shaped and waiting

Fresh from the oven & topped with cinnamon sugar

Kid tested: Approved!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Patient Update

Thanks to everyone for your prayers. My patient is doing well. He is in moderate discomfort and has basically just been sitting in the same place since we returned home this afternoon. And for the record: NO, this was not a vasectomy! He should be feeling much better by tomorrow & I will continue to help him regain his health over the next few days. Praise God that everything went smoothly & that there were not any complications. Please pray for my own strength and patience as we all know how difficult it can be {sometimes} to care for un-well husbands!

A Prayer Request

Pray to me and I will answer you.
Jeremiah 33:3

If it comes to mind, please pray for my husband Rick today as he is having surgery this morning at 11 am. It is nothing serious, but he will be under general anesthesia. Please pray specifically for no complications and a relatively painless recovery. It also just so happens that today is hubbster's 32nd birthday. You can join me in praying that he would still feel content and blessed despite his circumstances. Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Odd Mom Out

Yep. I'm the odd mom out. We don't celebrate Halloween. {Maybe there are other "odd" moms out there, I just don't come across them that often.} I don't decorate with ghosts or witches or skeletons. We do celebrate Harvest Time and I enjoy decorating with pumpkins, picking pumpkins, and eating pumpkin-y foods. We love the smells of burning leaves and apple picking and other fun fall stuff. I'm not opposed to dressing up or taking the kids to a costume party, it is the "celebrating of the day" part that I am against. What are you really celebrating anyway? A recent conversation with another dance class mom went something like this:

Mom: {to her kids} "Ask the girls what they're going to be for Halloween. Go on! Ask 'em!!"

Me: {silently cringing to self}

Mom: "Hey girls, so what are you going to be for Halloween?"

Me: "Um, we don't celebrate Halloween."

Mom: "Are you Jehovah's Witnesses?" {I guess in her mind you would have to be....}

Me: "Nope."

Mom: "Do you celebrate anything else?"

Me: {chuckling to self} "Yep. I just don't think Halloween is worth celebrating." {I really didn't want to get into any answer deeper than this.}

Mom: "You don't even let them celebrate at school??!" {As if schools were in charge of everything.}

Me: {Oh. Brother.} "We homeschool."

Mom: oooooooohhhhh

The mom in question is particularly straightforward. She has already told me that she doesn't think we should name our baby Sebastian & suggested several other names that she thinks are appropriate. Despite her opinionated nature, I think this conversation threw her for a loop!

If you are a Halloween-er, I'm not judging you, so please don't flame me for my opinion. If you are an odd mom too, then I'd love to hear it! I guess tonight I will leave the house lights off, draw the blinds closed & enjoy some private family time huddled indoors. From a frugal standpoint, I'm saving money on costumes, Halloween candy, and dentist bills from all the sweets!

Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Need Booster Seat Advice

To all my readers who are moms, I need your advice! At what age did you move your child from a harnessed carseat to a booster seat? For some reason you don't often hear hard & fast rules regarding this issue, the way you do about keeping them rear-facing until they are 1 year old and 20 pounds. The AAP says the child is ready for a booster when:
  • She reaches the top weight or height allowed for her seat with a harness. (These limits are listed on the seat and are also included in the instruction booklet.)
  • Her shoulders are above the harness slots.
  • Her ears have reached the top of the seat.
I think we moved my oldest to a booster around 3 1/2-ish, but I really don't remember. Any input is appreciated!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bags and Bags and Pumpkins, OH MY!

The Bags....
I have been busily plugging away at making some bags to sell at my mother-in-law's school. She has mentioned that a lot of the ladies would be really interested & has encouraged me to do something about it! I ran out of a crucial supply which stalled my progress, but now I am back on track. I want to get these completed so I can move on to other things. I just recently sold two custom bags to moms from Tatiana's dance class, so I would like to be able to start on those without other major bag projects hanging over my head. I really only have one more bag on my "list" to complete for my mil & just yesterday received the fabric from one of the dance class moms. I will post some photos of the lot when they are completed. Hopefully this will net me a little bit of money for the holiday season, but at this point I'd be happy just to make back what I've spent.

The Pumpkins....
About two weeks ago, while *innocently* surfing the net, I ran across this tutorial. I just couldn't help myself. I made this right away:

Isn't it just the cutest little knitted pumpkin?? I *love* it! So much so that I just......



I need some serious help. mrgreen

I am using materials from my stash, so it doesn't cost me anything other than 1 hour of my time. It's so quick and a great little project for while I'm unwinding in front of the TV at night or waiting {for the bazillionth time} at the doctor's office or in some other waiting room. I'm not feelin' the love for the larger one with the star as much as the little rounder ones. I have already given one away as a hostess gift. Here he is getting ready for his new home:

...and now he's all boxed up {homemade box of course!} and ready to roll!

Dear Mother-in-law {yet again} suggested that I make some to sell to her lady friends at work. {Um, either she really thinks I need the money or that my handiwork is very cute & desirable. I'm beginning to wonder.....} She also mentioned making a bunch to use as placeholders for the Thanksgiving table. Wouldn't that be uber cute? I thought I could just twist the copper wire in such a way that you could stick the namecard in it! If I have the time and ambition, I may just do that!

Weekend Getaway

This weekend Hubs & I enjoyed a mini-getaway in honor of our anniversary. We have been staying at the same little inn in Indiana for quite a few years, although every once and awhile we do shake things up a bit. This year we went back to our spot there, the Spring House Inn. I paid for a standard room, but due to a mix-up was given a jacuzzi suite! We loved the jacuzzi, but the downside was that this room was smoking. YUK. I almost couldn't take it, but eventually adjusted nicely.

So there you have it! And now you have seen my 32 week belly. I am so glad there are only a few more weeks left to go. Hubs & I enjoyed dinner at Red Lobster on Saturday night {can you believe I saved a gift card since last Christmas??} and a movie, Rendition, following. On Sunday we did some shopping at the huge outlet mall in Michigan City, getting some much needed clothes for myself & a few things for the children. {I also managed to hit the local Jo-Ann's for some fabric & supplies!}

We each bought a magazine to enjoy since we both love to read & I also brought along my very first copy of Ottobre that I received in the mail earlier in the week. I ordered the Autumn 2006 issue as it had the most designs I would be interested in. I disciplined myself not to open the envelope until we arrived at our getaway destination. I can't wait to make something from this. The patterns are so modern & European chic!

The fall colors weren't as fall-ish as they usually are. Everything was still pretty green, which was kind of a bummer. I was wishing everything would've looked like this. Maybe it has something to do with the weather? I know God is a busy guy so maybe He's forgotten to turn the thermostat down {said tongue-in-cheek}! Eighty degrees in late October??? By last night I was missing the girls and ready to come home. Although we both *so* enjoyed getting away & reconnecting, I love being back together as a family & in the comforts of my little home.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pregnancy: a Review

I don't really talk much about my pregnancy, so I thought I'd share a few of the highlights with ya'll. Here goes:

33 Days since LMP: I start to suspect I am pregnant. I've charted my cycles in the past & they have never been longer than 31 days.

5-6 Weeks since LMP: I'm sure I'm pregnant now. Too much time has gone by since the last cycle. I am hoping I can make it until Mother's Day without telling anyone! I think all the laying on the couch every evening because of early nausea symptoms might give it away.....

7 Weeks Preggo: Hubster gets suspicious. I just answer all his questions with "Don't worry about it." He can NOT wait to find out & buys me a pregnancy test. I take the test while he is mowing the grass. Positive! When he comes in the house, I have the girls sitting in my lap & a big posterboard sign with "#3" on it and and arrow pointing towards my belly. Hubster is excited!! He has off of work the next day so we make the rounds announcing the news. I bring the sign along & that is how we make our official announcement. Other people that we could not visit I call & tell them that Sienna is going to be a big sister. Everyone is so happy for us.

7 Weeks - 20ish Weeks Preggo: Sickness. Nausea. Every. Night. At least it doesn't start until 4ish, which means Hubster can take over the fort when he arrives home. Can't really go anywhere at night. No small group. No dinner plans. Nothing helps. Keep telling self that it will all be over soon & that the end result will be so worth it!

13 Weeks Preggo: Doctor can not find the baby's heartbeat. She schedules an ultrasound for the next day. It is a really, really long night...............Ultrasound shows that the baby is just fine! Although it is quite early to tell, ultrasound tech is 95% sure that it is a BOY!!

20 Weeks Preggo: It's confirmed. WE'RE HAVING A BOY!! Families are sooo happy. He will join my two nephews on Hubby's side of the family & is the first grandson on my side. We are also informed that I have partial placenta previa which will need to be monitored. If the placenta doesn't move then I will have to have a c-section.

20ish Weeks Preggo: Hubster wakes up in the morning telling me that a name just "came to him" in the middle of the night last night. He wasn't even thinking about names, he just was awoken to have the name come to his mind. OK. Must be a God thing. He tells me the name: Sebastian. It wasn't on my list of names, but I am sure that is what God wants us to name our son. We start telling everyone his name & the most popular response is, "But what are you going to call him for short?"

28 Weeks Preggo: Praise God, another ultrasound reveals that the placenta has moved out of the way! No need to worry about c-section {for now}. I take the 1-hour glucose test. I shouldn't be concerned as I have never failed a glucose test before.....

30 Weeks Preggo: GLUCOSE TEST FAILED. Normal value is 140 or under. Mine was 159. This means I will have to take the 3 hour test. I am also told that according to the last ultrasound, this is a BIG baby. He is weighing in at 3 pounds 8 ounces {as of 28 weeks}. Doctor tells me that this will need to be monitored & could mean a possible early induction to make sure he doesn't get really huge. I am measuring 32 weeks.

31 Weeks Preggo: I take the 3-hour test. Either the phlebotomist is a rookie or the fasting/not drinking enough is causing my veins to be difficult to draw. She does the insides of both of my arms. On the third draw she's going for the top of my hand & when the blood starts drawing, my body freaks out. In about 5 seconds time I tell her that I am really "not feeling good", then it gets bad. I feel like I am going to throw up & pass out. I start sweating & seeing stars. Literally. She calls the doctor over & they lay me upside down in the chair. I end up laying in a hospital bed with oxygen up my nose until the final blood draw. I shed a couple tears because I feel so ridiculous & embarassed. This was just routine, I figured. I have to call my mom to come pick me up from the doctor's office. I'm glad it's over.

32 Weeks Preggo: I do NOT have gestational diabetes. Two abnormal values are needed for this diagnosis; I do, however, have one abnormal value. Doctor informs me that most women with one abnormal value have larger than average babies. I will probably have to have yet another {my 4th} ultrasound to monitor baby's growth. This {different} doctor tells me that she does not do inductions before 39 weeks. {What would be the point of inducing then anyways?} I am now measuring 35 weeks.

And that's my pregnancy story, thusfar. Seems like ever time I have a doctor's visit they should be asking me, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?" Surely this will all be over soon. Just have to hang in there a few more weeks.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our First Date

October 14, 1996

A mutual friend had introduced us about one month before this date. Rick was presented as captain of the college soccer team that our friend was on. I remember my first impression was that he was very genuine, but kind He seemed to make really great conversation and really was interested in what I had to say. I remembered that on our first meeting he grabbed my hand to take me to the foosball table so we could play with some other friends of ours. After talking several times, Rick casually mentioned a movie he wanted to see.

Me: "Oh, yeah. I know that one." {I had no clue what movie he was talking about.}

So we made plans to see it, shortly after I returned from a trip to Florida. I thought about him during the trip, which I found somewhat strange since we had never even had an official date. I even remember writing his name in the sand....

The evening of our date we went to his parents house for dinner. I remember it was leftover KFC. {Romantic, eh?} Then we went to see the aforementioned movie, The Ghost in the Darkness. I remember him holding my hand & me thinking, "What are you doing?? Do you even want to be more than friends with this guy?" Then I would let go of his hand. Then I would hold it again. {Insert typical can't-make-up-her-mind female here.} I remember "pretending" to be scared throughout the movie.

That's about all I remember about our first date. Nothing earth-moving happened. Just two people beginning to chart a course together for some unknown final destination. God's plan was revealed when we were engaged 9 months later. I guess you could say it all started on this same date, 11 years ago. Seems like forever has passed and yet it seems like it wasn't that long ago, all at the same time.

Here's to happy memories ;>)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Our Family: Defined

Tatiana, my six year old, loves to count and recount the people in our family, especially since we are expecting a baby boy. She will tell me how many girls we have, how many boys we have & how many people total. {I think all these addition math lessons may have something to do with it too!} Last night in the car, she went a step further & "defined" each family member giving him/her a special name:

"We are going to call you {meaning me} rester." At least she didn't name me ol' yeller.

"I will be homeschooler." I was fascinated that this is what she used to define herself. I wonder if she feels like she is "different" because of being a homeschooler.

"Sienna will be sucker {since she loves to suck on her blankie corners for comfort}."

"Sebastian, {our unborn son} we'll call kicker." I thought this definition was particularly cute!

"And Dad will be worker." She has "defined" us all before, but Dad is always worker.

So that is my family, as defined by my daughter!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Apples & More Apples

We have been frequent visitors of our local apple orchard lately, so what to do with all that appley goodness? Bake of course! I tried this recipe over the weekend & loved it. It is simple. No greasing of the pan required or making of a fussy pie dough. Plus, the bottom crust & the top crumble are the same mixture, now how easy is that?!
Apple Oat Squares

Makes 9 servings

1 ½ c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
¼ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. butter {1 ½ sticks}, melted
3 c. peeled, cored, thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
½ t. ground cinnamon
¼ c. sugar
2 T. butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and melted butter in large bowl until thoroughly combined. Press half the mixture evenly into bottom of 9” square baking pan. Toss apples, cinnamon, and sugar in bowl, then spread evenly in pan; dot with butter. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture and bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Cool and cut into squares.

Special Notes:

This tasted sweet. I might add a squirt of lemon juice to the apples to brighten the apple flavor, and/or reduce the sugar a bit. I also only used about 1 T. of butter to dot over the apples. EASY!!

I think one of the keys to great apple desserts is to pick the right apple for the job. This recipe for instance, calls for Granny Smith, but you could easily substitute another firm, tart apple. I also like to adjust the sweetness in each recipe depending upon the sweetness of the apples.

P.S. If you're looking for some childrens' books about apples, a few we have enjoyed in the past are:
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Curriculum Brag

I really just wanted to take a chance and {shamelessly} brag on our homeschool curriculum, Little Hearts for His Glory. It is so wonderful! The description on the cover explains exactly all the reasons why I love it: Christ-centered, Flexible, Quick Activities, Easy to Use, Fun Ideas, and Complete Plans. I really, really enjoy all the neat, easy activities that are included.

For our History segment {which is really Biblical & God's hand throughout history}, I read from actual Scriptures that they have pieced together to make-up a complete story. Let's face it, even for an adult sometimes reading Biblical accounts can be lengthy, so it is so wise how they put together which Scriptures to read to give your child an understanding of what happened. This week, after reading about David, one of the activities included taping a drawing of Goliath's face on the wall {about 9 feet up, since that's how tall he was} and having your child pretend to be David. Tatiana took 5 rolled up socks {a.k.a. "smooth stones"} and attempted to hit Goliath in the forehead. It was so fun. We also discussed man looking at the outside and God looking at the heart. She had to look in a mirror and answer questions about her appearance, then draw a self-portrait. On a separate piece of paper, she described some of the qualities on herself on the inside. Then we taped the two together. There have been so many more neat activities that serve to reinforce the daily lesson.

Tatiana & Sienna both enjoy the weekly Rhyme/Song as well. All the songs fit with whatever is being learned & include gross motor skills to help improve body coordination. All the choices of activities and additional books are so...integrated. There's no better word to describe it. Instead of all the subjects being disjointed, they try and have everything pointing toward a central theme. Even our reading time is designed for character building. We aren't just reading some random chapter book. Everything has such distinct purpose, which I suppose is why we can learn so much in only 1-1 1/2 hours!

*I* so appreciate the weekly Scripture memorization as it helps me to "hide it in my heart" as well. I admit that in the past I have been guilty of just letting church do the Scriptural instruction and now with the help of this curriculum, I finally feel like I am fulfilling my God-given responsibility of training my child in His ways & His Word. Periodically we read from Devotions for the Children's Hour, which I highly recommend for anyone wanting to start doing devotions with their child/family. The chapters are short, only about 2 pages long and cover topics like Who is God?, Who is Satan?, The Most Important Thing a Child Can Do, Why It Helps Us to Be Punished, and many more. At the end of each chapter, there are a few questions for review as well as a simple prayer to use with your child/family. If you know me IRL and would like to look this {or any other book I mention} over, please just ask!

During this season of my life, I am really thankful too that everything is all planned out for me. I really don't have to do any pre-planning. I just open the curriculum guide & off we go! It really would be a great choice for someone who is a new homeschooler or wants to give it try, but thinks there is too much work involved. The same company also produces a Pre-K curriculum, designed for 2-5 year olds, which can be found here, that might be considered even if you don't plan on homeschooling in the future. It would give you & your child extra quality time together, learning & building a Christian foundation. I can't wait to start using this with Sienna!

I really am having so much fun & I know Tatiana is too. I am grateful to the Lord for guiding me in this decision and don't think I could've made a better one! If you have any questions about this curriculum or are considering using it, please let me know or feel free to send me a private email. Thanks for listening to my excitement & appreciation of our curriculum ;>)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Turkey anyone?

With the {somewhat} onset of Fall, I have been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving. {Well, actually I've been planning for more than a month now, but I don't want you to think I'm TOO crazy.} It is one of my favorite holidays, since I love cooking & entertaining. Over the years I have developed some tried and true recipes for certain dishes, that I now refuse to do without. I won't even bother trying a new pumpkin pie recipe since I love the one I have so much. This year I won't be able to hostess because I will be waaaaaayyy too pregnant. I learned my lesson with baby #2 by hosting Thanksgiving while pregnant & that was for only 5 people total. So my {covert} plan will be to freeze a bunch of ingredients & side dishes ahead of time so that I can {casually} offer to bring those items for the big day. We are celebrating at my grandma's house, so when I tell her that I already have all the ingredients prepared, how can she refuse? Here are the dishes I really need to have to make my Thanksgiving "complete":

Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel ~ I have been making this for about 5-6 years now. I tastes awesome on a {leftover} turkey sandwich too. I'm thinking this will actually freeze quite nicely already prepared. I will split this into two batches so that I can save some for Christmastime.

Slow Cooker Stuffing ~ My recipe is loosely based off of this one. I like to add Bob Evan's sage sausage and raisins too. I think I can freeze all the ingredients, including the bread cubes, then just toss it all in the crockpot on the big day. Maybe I will make extra to have for Christmastime as well.

Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Pie ~ I'm not sure how I can make this ahead, except maybe to make & freeze the crust. It comes together so quickly that I really don't have to. Here is the recipe for it from Nick Maglieri's book How to Bake:

Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Pie

Makes 1 pie

1 9” pie crust
1 ½ c. canned pumpkin
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2/3 c. sugar
½ t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. ground ginger
¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 ¼ c. light cream or half and half


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place crust and arrange in pan. In a large bowl, place pumpkin and whisk in the eggs and yolks. Whisk in the remaining ingredients in the order listed, whisking smooth after each addition. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake the pie for about 1 hour, until the crust is baked through and the filling is set. Cool the pie on a rack.

Special Notes:

Sweet dough for pies: In processor pulse 1 c. flour, 3 T. sugar, 1/4 t. baking powder, 1/8 t. salt. Pulse in 4 T. cold butter until it looks like cornmeal. Add 1 egg & pulse 10 times or so until dough comes together. Knead 3 to 4 times on lightly floured board. Chill 1 hour. Roll.

How about a few websites for Thanksgiving inspiration? I have been reading the "Thinkin' Thanksgiving" forum over at Organized Christmas. I've also found a few nice ideas here. And here is some Turkey day food inspiration at Allrecipes.

Are you making Thanksgiving plans yet? What are the foods that say "Thanksgiving" to you?

P. S. White meat rules!!