Monday, December 29, 2008

String Quilted Stockings

When Marci and Mack were just tiny, I learned to do Counted Cross Stitch and quickly became addicted. A friend of mine gave me the Christmas Alphabet pattern to cross stitch the cuffs for Christmas Stockings. That was 20 plus years ago and String Quilting was really popular.
I made four stockings one year and as each new baby came along I'd pull out the cross stitch pattern and make a new one adding Kayley, Scott & Hope. The stockings have been a consistent tradition hanging on the mantle every Christmas from California to New York. When Marci was pregnant with her first baby, she mentioned that she would love to have the same kind of stockings. So I made one for Ella and sent it to them for her first Christmas. The counted cross stitch is on 22 count hardanger fabric. When I made our stockings years ago I had no problem with that, even four years ago when I did Ella's stocking I did okay. Well, I don't know what happened...hmmm....but now I need to not only have glasses on but wear a lighted magnifying glass around my neck to do the small count. That kind of makes it tough to take your project to soccer practice and the doctor's office. Talk about making a spectacle of yourself. Besides, I had a book to read.

I have Addie's cross stitch started but I knew there was no way I was going to get it done, so I went ahead and made her a string quilted stocking that we can add the cuff to. Marci and I have decided that I need to teach her how to do counted cross stitch. I am a little worried about her addiction problem. Hopefully it won't be as bad as Twilight!Ella & Addie Christmas 2008

Girl's Night Out

Saturday night was so fun. My mom, me, Marci, Kayley and Hope all went to see the movie, Twilight.It was the first time for my Mom and Kayley -who had just finished the first book and has now already finished the second one.
I know ... it's scary. Mike took care of the little girls so Marci could go. It was great and I must say I enjoyed the movie more this time around.

I still have to see it one more time with Mark. He read all four books ... my Hero ♥ .

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thank You Thursday

Thursday was Christmas and I would feel remiss if I didn't have a "Thank You Thursday"post.
I love the Christmas Season and of course am most thankful to our Heavenly Father for giving us His Son, and for the gift He gives of Hope and Eternal Life. I'm thankful for my family and the time we are able to share together. I'm thankful that Kayley and Scott were able to get a break from school and join us for the holidays and I'm thankful for Mack who drove a long way for a short trip. We loved every minute of having him here. Love you guys!

Christmas Morning

Other than the fact that it started toooooo early, Christmas was wonderful! Scott and Hope were up at who knows what time and waited until 4:00 a.m. to wake us up by singing Frosty the Snowman. I was in such a deep sleep I thought I was at some school Winter Concert or something. Well we were awake at that point so we shared presents and then Mark and I went back to bed. I didn't wake up again until 9:00 so I was under a little pressure for our 11:00 Christmas Brunch. Scott called everyone and changed the time to 11:30. That was the least he could do, don't you think.It was a fun morning with the cute little ones and most of all having everyone there. Marci took some pictures of the table for me. I really need to get better about having my camera out and ready. She's my role model for picture taking. Thanks Marci!Every Christmas Eve part of the menu is:

24 Hour Salad
  • 6 Cups lettuce chopped
  • Sugar, Salt, Pepper
  • 6 Hard Boiled Eggs, sliced
  • 1 10 oz. pkg. Frozen Peas thawed
  • 1 lb. Bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 C. sliced green onions
  • 2 Cups( 8 oz.) shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
In a large salad bowl, place 3 cups lettuce. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Layer in order the eggs, peas, bacon, remaining 3 cups lettuce, green onions and cheese. Combine mayonnaise and sour cream, spread over top of salad. Cover, refrigerate 24 hrs. Toss before serving.

Puff Pancakes
(Kayley's Favorite)

  • 1/2 cube butter (not margarine)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • Cup Pancake Mix (or Bisquick)
Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Place butter in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Put in preheating oven until butter is melted. In a blender, combine eggs, milk and pancake mix. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for a bout 15 - 18 Minutes until pancakes are puffy and lightly browned. Do not open oven while pancakes are cooking. Top with sifted powder sugar.

Serve with warm maple syrup or fruit toppings.

Mexican Quiche
Marci's Favorite
( I stole this picture from her Menu Blog)

  • 1 bag Ore Ida frozen hash browns (I like the shredded potatoes)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1-2 c. diced ham
  • 4 oz. Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 cans green chilies (4 oz. each)
  • Goya or Lawry Seasoning Salt( to taste)
Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan and spread hash browns (we always let them thaw first). Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.- Layer ham, cheeses and chilies on crust.- Combine eggs, milk, and seasoned salt. Whip really well ( I use the blender) and pour over top.- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with sour cream and salsa.

Overnight Egg Bake


  • 2 1/2 Cups Seasoned Croutons
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Jimmy Dean Sausage Roll (we like spicy)
  • 8 Eggs
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
Grease 9 X 13 inch pan. Layer Croutons, cheese and cooked, drained sausage. Beat eggs and 2 1/2 cups milk. Pour over ingredients. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, Mix mushroom soup and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Pour over eggs. Bake at 300 degrees 1 1/2 hours until brown.
Later we went to movie and of course played SCUM...a must for our family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Today went by so fast. We have a tradition of playing the board game Risk every Christmas Eve. (Mark and the kids that is) Mark, Scott, Mack and Hope all went to Marci and Mike's house today to play. Mike was the winner. I stayed home to make rolls for Christmas Eve dinner and some cinnamon rolls to take to some of our friends.

We had Christmas Eve dinner at my parents. It was our traditional menu- staring with the poppers~and then: Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, 24 Hour Salad, Creamed Corn , Mashed Potatoes and Rolls. It was so delicious.

(Thanks for the pictures Marci!) We exchanged gifts and visited. It was a great time. Afterwards Kayley and Scott came over and we watched the Nativity on TV.
I'll post some recipes in the next couple of days. Miss Santa still has a few things to do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Can't Believe It

Can you believe it is December 23rd? Time is just flying! We are having so much fun with Kayley & Scott and Mack in town. Marci, Mike and the girls will be back from San Antonio later today.
Earlier in the month (seems like yesterday), Nana and Ella had a baking day together. We did a gingerbread house that Ella deacorated all by herself and baked and frosted cut out cookies.
Decorating Table awaiting Miss Ella

Ella in her Applique Apron
Artist at Work!
Didn't she do a great job!We were exhausted by the end of our bake-a-thon!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Back to Blogging

Wow. What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been. Mind you, I'm not complaining, they have been wonderful. I just love this time of year when the opportunities to serve abound all around us and the gift of charity brings joy and hope to so many hearts! There is so much to catch up on. I guess I'll start with the pictures I promised ages ago of our house at Christmas.
The "thermostat hiding" shelf.
Sunny kitchen window
The Tree
The stockings

I'm going to catch up over the next few days and share my pillow project, Addie's String Quilted stocking, making a gingerbread house with Ella and Hope's Winter concert. Stayed tuned.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Check it Out

Pineapple Hill is doing another give away!
It's one of my favorite items .... these adorable snowman measuring cups. They look
so cute sitting on the counter and so handy too. Cute and how great is that?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thank You Thursday

Last Thursday on Thanksgiving, I decided every Thursday I would acknowledge things to be Thankful for.

Today I'm thankful that I live in Houston, Texas not very far from the Houston Temple. Mark and I are going this morning to join friends from our Ward. Today is the Nottingham Country Ward Fill the Temple Day! The Houston Temple is even more wonderful to me now because August 8th Kayley and Scott were sealed there for Time and Eternity. I'm so thankful for Eternal Families.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Etsy Frames

I love Christmas time! Tomorrow I'll take some pictures of the house. Things have been busy at church etc, so I've been a slacker about posting. I've been making these decoupage frames for gifts and decided to add some to the Etsy Store. Today I worked on my lesson for Sunday & made Addie's Christmas stocking (hopefully Marci will take a picture, I forgot to).
When I was going through my files, I came across this funny letter. I forgot all about it but found it just as funny as the first time I read it, so I thought I'd share it:

Hi Erma,
This perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself to tell you what I have been up to. Since it snowed last night, I got up early and made a sled with old barn wood and a glue gun. I hand painted it in gold leaf, got out my loom, and made a blanket in peaches and mauves. Then to make the sled complete, I made a white horse to pull it, from DNA that I had just sitting around in my craft room.
By then, it was time to start making the place mats and napkins for my 20 breakfast guests. I'm serving the old standard Stewart twelve-course breakfast, but I'll let you in on a little secret: I didn't have time to make the tables and chairs this morning, so I used the ones I had on hand.
Before I moved the table into the dining room, I decided to add just a touch of the holidays. So I repainted the room in pinks and stenciled gold stars on the ceiling. Then, while the homemade bread was rising, I took antique candle molds and made the dishes (exactly the same shade of pink) to use for breakfast. These were made from Hungarian clay, which you can get at almost any Hungarian craft store.

Well, I must run. I need to finish the buttonholes on the dress I'm wearing for breakfast. I'll get out the sled and drive this note to the post office as soon as the glue dries on the envelope I'll be making.
Hope my breakfast guests don't stay too long, I have 40,000 cranberries to string with bay leaves before my speaking engagement at noon. It's a good thing.
Love,Martha Stewart

Response from Erma Bombeck:

Dear Martha,
I'm writing this on the back of an old shopping list, pay no attention to the coffee and jelly stains. I'm 20 minutes late getting my daughter up for school, packing a lunch with one hand, on the phone with the dog pound, seems old Ruff needs bailing out again. Burnt my arm on the curling iron when I was trying to make those cute curly fries, how DO they do that?

Still can't find the scissors to cut out some snowflakes, tried using an old disposable razor ... trashed the tablecloth. Tried that cranberry thing, frozen cranberries mushed up after I defrosted them in the microwave.

Oh, and don't use Fruity Pebbles as a substitute in that Rice Krispie snowball recipe, unless you happen to like a disgusting shade that resembles puke! The smoke alarm is going off, talk to ya later.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Heart That's Full

When I woke up this morning and looked at my blog list, I watched this touching video from NieNie's husband. What a beautiful testimony of faith, love & gratitude.

My heart is full today. At 2:00 we had a funeral service for a dear friend, Lori Schmidt. In just a couple of weeks, December 20th, she would have turned 89 years old. I became close to her after we moved here and I was assigned to be her Visiting Teacher. When the routes were changed and I was assigned new sisters to visit I still kept visiting Lori. I found that our age difference had no barrier. We would joke all the time that our spirits were the same age. She led a fascinating life and overcame many obstacles. We went shopping, out to lunch, and visited in each other's homes. We are both avid animal lovers and enjoyed sharing our pet stories. We laughed and cried over the experiences and trials this earthly life brings. She has touched my heart and I feel blessed to have had her as a friend.

Revelations 21: 1-4
1) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2) And I John saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Day

We did something different, do I dare say... it is totally unheard of! We went out to eat for Thanksgiving Dinner! We went to the Black Eyed Pea. It was fun, delicious and relaxing (especially when we finished eating and left the restaurant). It certainly was enjoyable but I don't think I could do that every year. Here we are sitting outside the restaurant after our meal.

Marci and Mike took the girls home for their nap and we went to an afternoon flick. We saw Australia . It's based on a true story. I thought it was interesting and great entertainment.
Of course, in the evening we had to continue with our ritual of playing "Scum". We got together at Marci & Mike's place, ate pie, visited and then were all slaughtered by Scott at Scum. We've been playing it forever. Now they acutally have a geniune game of it! It looks similar to the one we play, but we just use regular cards.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank You Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

A challenge from Rhonda Byrne 
(that I happen to love)
Today is Thank You Thursday.

  • Today and every Thursday is your day to say and feel "Thank you" in as many ways as you can.
  • Write a list of all the people and events you want to give thanks for.
  • Return thanks today to those who have done things for you.
  • As you walk say "Thank you" in your mind with each step you take.
  • As you drive, make each time you stop your cue to say "Thank you."
  • At various times in the day, think and feel "Thank you" inside you seven times in a row.
  • Look for every opportunity to say "Thank you" to other people, and say it with so much meaning that the person looks right at you.
  • Thank your way through every Thursday, and make "Thank you" your predominant thought, feeling, and words of the day
  • "Thank you" - two words, inconceivable potential power, and all they need is you to put the power into them by expressing them.
I'm thankful for this day that I get to spend with "part" of my family and I'm looking forward to having the whole gang together at Christmas! We're not having our traditional feast this year. Today I'm thankful that we are going somewhere to eat and I don't have to cook or clean!
What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

"People who are grateful have higher levels of positive emotions like love, optimism, joy, enthusiasm,and happiness.
“The practice of gratitude as a discipline protects a person from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, greed, and bitterness,” Emmons says ... Photo by Michael Whoolly
"that those who are grateful are able to cope better with stress, sleep better, have more energy, and even have more resilience toward illness and have greater physical health."
“Gratitude works because, as a way of perceiving and interpreting life, it recruits other positive emotions—like joy, contentment, and hope—that have direct physical benefits, most likely through the immune system or endocrine system,” Emmons says.
“We have also found that when people experience gratitude, they feel more loving, more forgiving, and closer to God.”
Emmons believes the power of a thank-you note is incredible,
and that there are three main benefits:
1. Expressing emotions magnifies the feeling, so expressing thanks makes our gratitude stronger.
2. Expressing thanks builds and strengthens relationships. He says gratitude is the relationship-building emotion, so not only do we benefit on an individual level, but we create better bonds with others.
3. It humbles us. The natural man has a self-serving bias and the tendency to take sole credit for everything positive.

Just something to think about this week of "Thanksgiving"

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Big Day

Last week Mark and I were able to take a quick trip to St. Augustine to see Mack and Cheryl and attend the meeting where Mack was sworn in as a new County Commissioner to St. John's County. We arrived Monday afternoon in Jacksonville and Mark had some appointments set up to see a couple of his customers. That evening we met Mack and Cheryl at Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner and then went to Mack's place in St. Augustine. Mack and Cheryl Joy He has 3 adorable cats. Claymore, Heat and Raptor(the little guy I'm holding there). Mark Bergeson Miner and Mark Partridge Miner
My Mark has his mother's maiden name for his middle name so we decided to name our Mark that way. He got the nick name Mack when he was about 7.

Afterwards we drove over to see the Administration Building and Mack's new office.

Tuesday morning was The Big Day. It was so wonderful to be there with so many of Mack's other biggest fans.
Commissioner Miner!
(It was really hard to get pictures that morning. The lighting was very low. Thanks Cheryl!)