Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Silver Lining

One week ago on Christmas Eve, the snow was falling, the weather predictions were worse and we wondered what would happen. Now looking back, I can see that this was one of the most enjoyable Christmas celebrations in many years.

My in-laws were going to host Christmas dinner on Christmas day and at least three of the four children, plus their families, who live near enough were to converge on the farm for the feast that afternoon. But due to the weather predictions, Grandma decided to post-pone the feast till Sunday.

So Christmas Eve day found my husband busy at work preparing for the two evening services, my children trying to contain their excitement and not get into trouble, and me preparing meals, enjoying the snowfall, and anticipating a wonderful evening.

We began the day with a special breakfast of Overnight French Toast and sausage links before we went to Matins, the short, spoken service offered each Tuesday through Saturday at the church. Afterwards the children and I came home and shoveled some of the 8-10 inches of snow which had fallen. It was warm, sunny, and bright, which helped make shoveling to seem more of a pleasure than a burden.

Our dinner was a family favorite, Chicken with a Biscuit. It is a creamy chicken mixture (cubed chicken, peas, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, seasonings) boiled together and put into a baking dish with biscuits on top and then baked. I even made enough extra biscuits for the kids to have some on the side with jelly.

The afternoon found my husband still at work, the kids playing in the snow, and doing some extra cleaning for misbehavior, Hannah and Ellie practicing piano, flute, and violin in anticipation of playing in the services that evening. Finally the time came for showers, supper of Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with crackers and cheese, and dressing in our Christmas outfits for the 7 pm service of Lessons and Carols.
After the service, which was attended by fewer people than previous years due to the snow (we kept getting more all day), we came home to find that Santa had indeed made it through with his trusty sleigh and left two presents for the children. David set up the video camera while I got my camera ready and also put the goodies on the table for nibbling, and the children sat (?) patiently (?) awaiting the time to open presents.

After opening we enjoyed each other's company and our new things for awhile before David and the two oldest went back to church to prepare for the midnight mass. At home, I picked up all the wrapping paper, put away the food and set the table for Christmas morning's breakfast while the three youngest continued playing with their new Christmas toys. As the 11:00pm start time drew near, the youngest three and I went over to attend worship (I really love living next door to the church). Afterwards, while I helped with altar guild duties, the youngest children came home for bed. It is always hard to sleep, I think, on Christmas Eve. The adrenaline from the evening, the basking in the birth of the Christ Child, the pondering of this baby whose body and blood were given and shed for me make for a night that does not want to end.

But alas it did and after only a few short hours we arose, ate a delicious breakfast of cinnamon rolls (of course they were homemade) before once again attending the 9:00 am worship hearing the wonderful news that Christ is Born!

We came home and while dinner was cooking (pork chops in the slow cooker, baked potatoes, corn, and homemade buns), David put together the Egyptian Pyramid that Nathan, Abby, and Sam received from Santa. It was finished and they could play for a bit before we ate our wonderful meal. Afterwards, while the children cleaned the kitchen, David and I took a nice, long, nap. Upon waking two hours later, we played the game Colosseum which Hannah and Ellie received from Santa (Santa must have known what we are studying in history this year). That is a very fun game! Suppertime was near and we had our standard Sunday evening meal of popcorn, apples, sausage, cheese, and crackers while watching the second disk of The Two Towers.

Speed forward to Sunday where once again we worshipped the New Born King and afterwards went to the farm to spend two nights with Grandpa and Grandma. David was able to put together their new shelves they purchased for each other for a Christmas gift and also set up the new flat-screen tv David, his sister and brothers (plus their families) gave to them.

Even though this Christmas didn't turn out as we had originally planned, and the kids were disappointed that none of the cousins ended up making it to Grandpa and Grandma's, we had a very nice time. The relaxing Christmas day at home, the added joy of spending a few days relaxing at Grandpa and Grandma's (which was a last minute plan due to the weather) really made this Christmas one to remember.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Decorations Around the House

Like other families, we've been given various Christmas decorations over the years. Here are some of ours decorating the top of the piano. (There is always open music on the piano and piles on either side and stacked on the floor.)

Normally my dining room window seat has the beautifully sewn cushion (by my good friend Amy) and pillows for a cozy place to sit.
But last winter we discovered that the bench isn't insulated therefore the cushion provided it and it actually froze to the bench. I spent a long time with a hair dryer freeing the cushion from the bench, drying with towels and air drying the cushion.

This year we took the cushion off when it turned cold providing me a place to set up my Christmas village. I don't have many pieces but I do like the ones I have.

On the other end of the bench I set up the nutcrackers. I've always loved nutcrackers. I think they are so fun to look at. The kids sure enjoy playing with them and it is fun watching them and listening in on their make-believe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Away in a Manger

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is our manger scene.
The wooden stable was a wedding gift from Pastor Stache and his wife. Pr. Stache was the faithful shepherd of our Lord who baptized, catechized, confirmed, and married me. One of his hobbies was woodworking and he enjoyed building these mangers. He had given them as gifts to many people including my parents. It was a great joy to receive one as a wedding gift. They also gave us the figurines.

The linen I bought in Innsbruck, Austria two years ago. I loved so many of the beautiful German linens, but with five children I knew my house is currently not a linen house. But a Christmas linen I thought would work.
The other side says Innsbruck, Austria.

I love the trees, the feel, the lettering, I simply love my linen!
It looks so nice as the table cover for under the manger. This is one of my favorite Christmas decorations!
(Oh and the beautiful Christmas coasters came from Katie and Josh's wedding two (?) three (?) years ago. They were on the tables for all the guests to take home! I love them Katie! They are out all year round!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Today's Funny

Yesterday I made my weekly trip to Aldi. Hannah asked me to pick up a few things for her for a Christmas gift which I did. Last night while helping David put receipts into our money program, I asked Hannah to remind me which of the things she would reimburse. As we marked off items, I asked what about this one: "Milk Choc Collect"

David laughed and said, "Dear Heavenly Father, we ask you for milk chocolate...."

Do you think that is a seasonal collect or a daily one?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Advent Calendar

When my husband was growing up his family had an advent calendar which his mom had made with a group of ladies in the community. It looked similar to this:

One year we asked about that calendar. His mom gave us the old one along with the saved directions on how to make one. One of the first summers we were in our home in Illinois, I set to work making four new ones so each of David's married siblings and their families would have one as well. It was easy, yet time consuming, but well worth it. Ever since, as each Advent begins, it is the first thing we hang and the children take turns each day taking an item out of the pocket to hang on the tree.
I want to make a couple more as gifts, but typically forget until I pull it out of the box at the beginning of Advent. I really need to remember though as David's youngest brother, whom I didn't make one for before has now been married for eight years and has three young daughters who would enjoy this.

Maybe this year will be that year, I know of some ladies in the church who (I think) would enjoy having one. It sure would help with motivation and all the cutting if we were to do it all together, making several at one time.

Christmas Preparations

David put up our tree (a pre-lit) last Friday and the kids helped him to bring up all of the Christmas decoration boxes. They've been sitting in my living room ever since. Sunday afternoon as I listened to the Viking's game I put out the lighted village, nutcrackers, manger, and various other nick-knacks. It was fun, I haven't put out all of these things for a few years. I was able to remember the people who gave me these wonderful things and my youngest children oohed and aahed over them. They also have been enjoying the Christmas books and movies that have been stashed away for a year.

Monday we drove to Rochester to take the kids to a favorite toy store for them to choose a present for their sibling (they draw names). The employees in the store enjoyed watching as either David or I would take one child around and then to the counter for purchase while the other stayed at the front with the other children and played one of the games available for customers. This store even wrapped the gifts for free which was really nice for sneaking eyes.

Afterwards we went to the mall to once again to try and find some decent church clothes for our teenage daughter. This year has been a bigger challenge than most. Sweater dresses are everywhere and she doesn't like them (neither do I really) or "party dresses," for dances, or short sleeves (it is winter - in MN we are at negative degrees!). We did find a decent skirt and sweater at JC Penny, but it will have to be altered (she is so tall and skinny!), and then finally came home and ordered from Lands' End. Her younger sister already had picked a skirt (clear blue and big sis picked burgundy/gray plaid) and ivory turtleneck sweater and we were hoping not to have to have her older sister have the same thing (even in a different color), but there weren't any other options. These skirts aren't even "dress" skirts but their "uniform" skirts. They sure look very nice though. What I can't understand is why isn't a standard velour skirt and/or dress made each year? That seems to be a staple winter Christmas dress to me.

Last night while David was at a meeting I had the children help decorate the tree. They each have their own ornaments and so starting with the youngest they take turns hanging them on the tree. They also added their wrapped gifts to their sibling under the tree and wrapped Dad's gift. Now we enjoy sitting and looking at the lovely tree and there is always a game of "I spy" being played with the ornaments on the tree.

I still have some more baking I would like to finish. But the last few days have been nice for me. Until I put out all the Christmas decorations, I had forgotten how much the younger kids need that excitement. To them it signifies Christmas is getting really close, just like it did when their older siblings were their age. It was a good reminder for me to not be so scroogeish and decorate and let the younger ones also have the excitement and fun. In the next few days I'm going to pull out some of the craft boxes and help them make some things I always had the older ones do. But first we have to put away all those boxes that have cluttered the living room since last weekend awaiting to be opened and taken out to make the house a bit more merry.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I'll write a new post. The last three weeks have been full of visits from friends, no washing machine for two weeks, hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, baking Christmas cookies, visiting my good friend and her family in South Dakota for our kids to decorate those cookies, trying to do some sort of bookwork for school, and on, and on. I'll catch up eventually.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Before Sun-up

When I was growing up my mom would always make several pies for any gathering, whether Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or summer reunion picnics. The types of pies might change based on the time of year and occasion, but one thing never changed, they were always made fresh that morning. Yes, I said, that morning. She always was an early riser so awaking at 3:30 - 4:00 to make pies never bothered her, that is the time of day she loves most of all and always says she is most productive then.

I might be like my mom in many ways, but enjoying early mornings has never been one of them. I much prefer sleeping in. But I do like pie, and the idea of fresh pie made that day for a special occasion has an appeal to me that has made me get up twice now to have my pies done on the day they'll be eaten. Because I'm still not a morning person, I've tricked myself by choosing meringue-topped pies to bake. They have to be eaten the day they're made, which means they have to be made that day. So maybe, just maybe I'll get used to the idea with them and venture into baking all my pies early in the morning.

First things first. One must be awake to bake and this always helps:
Now, let's get started on our Banana Cream Pie!

First you need to have a pre-baked pie crust. I did mine the night before. My mom always uses the recipe on the Crisco can. But several years ago when I was nursing one of the children I watched Martha Stewart. She did a step by step tutorial on pie-crust baking. Ever since watching that and printing out her recipe I've used it, loving it, it is a good thing!

When the edges don't turn out "perfect," I comfort myself that this is the way everyone knows it is homemade!

Okay now time to assemble the filling.

In a large, heavy saucepan mix together:
1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup corn starch. Then add: 3 cups milk and 4 egg yolks, and stir.

Cook till thick, stirring constantly! As the pudding thickens, turn down the heat to prevent sticking.

When thick, remove from the heat and add 2 tsp butter and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Now slice bananas into the pie crust shell......

And into the pudding.

Now pour the pudding into the pie shell.....and add more sliced bananas on top!

Now it is time for the meringue! Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat 4 egg whites until frothy.

(This isn't frothy - just the start of beating the whites - you knew that right?!)

Then add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and beat till stiff. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until no longer grainy feeling, then add 1 tsp vanilla.

Put on top of your pie.

My mom told me to hold my spatula perpendicular to the meringue and "fluff" or "pull" upwards with short strokes all over to create the beautiful valleys and peaks. Oh and be sure to take your meringue all the way to the edges "sealing" it to the crust.

Bake it for 5 minutes at 425 or until it is browned as you desire.

And if you're already making it, why not bake two at the same time? Just double the above recipe and have double the fun! Like I did!

I started the pies at about 6:15 am on Sunday morning, I took them out of the oven around 7:15 and this was the sky then:

I then awoke the children, showered, and we got ready for Sunday School, Bible Class and church. The pies were taken over with us and enjoyed (I hope!) by those attending the Anniversary meal after the late service.

So go ahead try making my Great Aunt Aggie's Banana Cream Pie for your Thanksgiving Dinner. You can even have it done before the turkey has to go into the oven. Enjoy!

Great Aunt Aggie's Banana Cream Pie
Mix together in a heavy saucepan: 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup corn starch
Add 3 cups milk and 4 egg yolks, stir.
Cook till thick, stirring constantly. As pudding thickens, turn down the heat to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Add 2 tsp butter and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Slice bananas into baked pie shell and into pudding and add more on top.

Beat 4 egg whites till frothy. Add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and beat till stiff. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat till no longer grainy feeling. Then add 1 tsp vanilla.
Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yeah, that covers it

This week we've been praying the 10th commandment in our daily devotions. Yesterday, David asked the kids one by one to recite the 10th commandment starting with the oldest. When he got to Sam this is how Sam began, "We should not covet our neighbor's stuff..." David had to turn his head so Sam (who is a bit sensitive) wouldn't see his chuckle, while I tried to contain my smile and help him repeat it the correct way.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How We Celebrated His #7

Last Sunday after worship while Pastor was giving announcements, Sam leaned over to me and said, "I want a birthday party and I want Griffin and Travis and Aiden to come." I asked him what he wanted to do at his party, he replied, "have lots of fun." Okay. This was three (!) days before his birthday. But we made it work, and he did have lots of fun. It was the first birthday party Sam ever had where he invited friends.

Since he didn't give me any ideas on what kind of birthday I began searching the internet for something. When I ran across party ideas for The Lord of the Rings, I knew this would work. Sam has always loved LOTR, and with decision made, plans began.
First his cake. I googled Lord of the Rings birthday cakes and got this idea:

I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

Next I thought about games. David and I thought it would be fun to do some sort of scavenger hunt. That idea led us into a quest to destroy the ring. Hannah drew an overhead view of the parsonage and church renaming places with LOTR names. Ellie was "Gandalf" and led them from place to place.

At their first stop, Rivendell, I gave them each a foam sword (which doubled as a take-home goodie). And like 7 year old boys, began using them right away.
At Lothlorien, the Lady Galadriel, (aka Abby) gave them each a cape to wear (ours) and a light (aka those neon glow sticks, another take-home goodie).

They finally made it through Mordor to the Mountain of Doom (aka our fire pit) and cast in the ring (aka an empty plastic tape ring Ellie had spray painted gold).

The boys thought it great to watch it melt. "Hey it looks like a melting worm," one of them said.

Then it started on fire.

Then the boys were content to run around play-fighting for a little while before I made them all come into the house.

The other game I planned was "shoot the orc." Hannah drew an orc and then she and Ellie went over to the church and projected it onto bigger roll paper, traced and colored it. We taped it to the door in the basement. I think it looked great!

After supper (Sam chose corn dogs, baked beans, and chips - Cheetos and Doritoes) Sam opened his gifts.

A Vikings jersey from Dad and Mom that he hasn't taken off since.

An axe from his brothers and sisters.

And two other fun things from his guests. They were soon opened and all the boys took turns playing with them and using the big dart gun to shoot that big orc!

And then we sang Happy Birthday before enjoying cake and homemade ice-cream.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This is good!

Thanks to my friend Susan's recipe, we enjoyed fried egg roll guts for lunch today. David and I liked it, one child asked for seconds, two children ate what was given and said it was okay, and two children didn't really want to eat it. It'll be made again though, so those last two will have a chance to grow into liking it.

I added a whole pound of pork sausage (already fried) and I think I would prefer instead, either left over pork, or chicken, or even mini shrimp! The sausage seasoning didn't enhance the flavor quite right.

It was super easy to make, I shredded the cabbage and the carrots, but cut up the onions. We also made homemade sweet and sour sauce to drizzle over the top. From start to on the table it took me about 30 minutes, although I did have a couple of daughters who were peeling carrots, and making the sauce for me. We added a fruit salad and buttered crackers and enjoyed a nice dinner! Thanks Susan!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Dream

Like many others, I assume, as a kid I always had a reoccurring dream. I can still remember parts of it. There were barrels - the big, blue-gray, oil-filled kind - and they were rolling after me and I was running to get away. I always awoke before they caught me and crushed me.

When I was in high school the reoccurring dream was of me running a race. I would be running but felt like I was going nowhere, and often when I looked down my feet were moving in circles and I was in the air moving in slow motion. I couldn't get anywhere.

But I haven't had either of those dreams for quite a long time. I still, however, have a reoccurring dream. Now it always involves a church I've worshipped in and which is liturgical and confessional. There is always a pastor whom I know and trust to not go the way of the world. In my dream however, the service is crazy, with very un-historic liturgies -if any, dancers, people waving arms - and sometimes shouting alleluia or amen, and the pastor just standing there. I always wake up very confused, wondering what I just dreamed and why on earth would I dream that?

This dream has happened enough that I do wake up less confused and a bit more amused. This happened the other day. Upon waking, David said, "Guess what I just dreamed." It was his reoccurring dream, the one where he is the pastor and the service is beginning and something isn't ready (his robes are gone, the sermon isn't finished, the altar isn't set for the sacrament, etc.) I chuckled and told him I had my reoccurring dream as well.

Minds are funny things, and even more so are dreams.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

God's Own Child

38 years ago today, my parents brought me to the font where the pastor baptized me in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It (LSB 594)
God's own child, I gladly say it:
I am baptized into Christ!
He, because I could not pay it,
Gave my full redemption price.
Do I need earth's treasures many?
I have one worth more than any
That brought me salvation free
Lasting to eternity!

Sin, disturb my soul no longer:
I am baptized into Christ!
I have comfort even stronger:
Jesus' cleansing sacrifice.
Should a guilty conscience seize me
Since my Baptism did release me
In a dear forgiving flood,
Sprinkling me with Jesus' blood?

Satan, hear this proclamation:
I am baptized into Christ!
Drop your ugly accusation,
I am not so soon enticed.
Now that to the font I've traveled,
All your might has come unraveled,
And, against your tyranny,
God, my Lord, unites with me!

Death, you cannot end my gladness:
I am baptized into Christ!
When I die, I leave all sadness
To inherit paradise!
Though I lie in dust and ashes
Faith's assurance brightly flashes:
Baptism has the strength divine
To make life immortal mine.

There is nothing worth comparing
To this life-long comfort sure!
Open-eyed my grave is staring:
Even there I'll sleep secure.
Though my flesh awaits its raising,
Still my soul continues praising:
I am baptized into Christ;
I'm a child of paradise!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Supper Idea

Spaghetti and Meatballs with French Bread.
Step 1: Buy 10 lb of hamburger when it is on sale, make into meatballs and freeze in packages of thirty.

Step 2: During tomato season can quartered tomatoes or spaghetti sauce.

Step 4: Buy spaghetti noodles at the store.

On the day you decide to make spaghetti and meat balls with french bread:

Step 1: Take meatballs out of freezer to thaw.
Step 2: Make spaghetti sauce (or bring up the jar already made)
Step 3: Begin making three hour french bread.

You won't be sorry. Wow. I saw this recipe awhile ago, but never got around to trying it. Yesterday, though, I made the time, and nobody was sorry.
It was delicious. Crispy, chewy, warm, and with melted butter we all had seconds and thirds, and.....
and it is definitely a recipe I'll try again and again.

Oh and the only step above you cannot not do is
Step 3: Begin making three hour french bread.

Go. Plan. Bake. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Enchilada Pie

This is a recipe I had forgotten about until I noticed the few leftover tortillas. Is it like that at your house, one meal uses up most, but not all, of the tortillas and what remains is only enough to ensure bickering among the eaters at the smorgasbord meal? Try the following recipe next time and see if your diners have smiles.

Enchilada Pie
Olive Oil
1 cup chopped red or green pepper
1 lb ground beef
2 tsp cumin
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes (seasoned kind if you desire)
1/2 cup enchilada sauce
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles (I frequently leave these out because I never think to buy them)
1 cup frozen corn
4-6 tortillas
8oz shredded cheese (your choice of kind)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute peppers in heated oil, add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Stir in cumin, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and chiles. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in corn.

Line bottom of baking dish (I use my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker) with two tortillas. Top with some of the meat mixture, then sprinkle on the cheese. Top with two more tortillas, more meat, more cheese, and layer again, ending with a top layer of tortillas (I think last night I used 8 total). Cover with lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle on more cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serve with toppings like sour cream, chopped tomatoes, onions, lettuce, whatever you like.

Last night I made this and added a can of black beans (undrained) when I added the tomatoes, sauce, etc, and I didn't use chiles. I also make my own enchilada sauce, (recipe follows) adding all of it, which I realize now was more than necessary and made ours more soupy, but it was still tasty! Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think.

Enchilada Sauce
olive oil
1 onion chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4oz) green chiles
2 tsps chili powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Saute onion and pepper in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2009 Spring, Summer, and Fall Harvest

Here's the rundown of the nuts I've stored for winter.

15 pint freezer jam
25 quarts of whole berries
9 quarts of sliced berries

Cherries (Bing)
31 and a half quart

Dill Pickles
6 quart

20 and a half quart
3 quart juice

Applesauce (canned by my mom)
54 quart

Apple Butter (canned by my mom)
9 and a half pint

Apple Jelly (canned by my mom)
11 pint

Tomato Juice
40 quart

Tomatoes quartered (both canned and frozen):
20 quart

Squash (canned by my mom)
19 and a half pint

Funny, at the beginning of the canning season, I wasn't sure I would get much canned, and look how wrong I was. All of the tomatoes and Squash were gifts from people's bountiful gardens. I think of those people all through the winter as I use up the goodies in the jars. It sure is nice to see the shelves like this once again (please ignore the rest of the mess).
Last year my mom came up in October and willingly agreed to can applesauce for us. She agreed to it again this year. That is so nice. Most of the apple butter she is taking home for herself and my nephew (who lives with her) to enjoy.

I had thought I would look for some pumpkins to can because we love pies and bars and cheesecakes and muffins all made with pumpkin. But someone called asking if we wanted butternut squash so we canned and froze that instead. I did that last year and we all liked it just fine.

Last year I did lots of spaghetti sauce and we all enjoyed that. But this year I wanted more juice, so I simply did that. Then, when I was gifted with a big bunch of tomatoes right before the first freeze, I decided to quarter them for soups and making spaghetti sauce. I'll see how it goes. It was easier to do the quartered tomatoes, but last year it sure was easy to pull the spaghetti sauce right off the shelf! I'll soon find out which side of the sauce I'll prefer to work.

I didn't get any corn this year, so once the few bags from last year are done, we'll buy from the store. The grapes didn't produce much this year so no more grape jelly but I still have a few pints from last year. I also didn't can any chow chow relish this year. I think I still have enough from last year to see us through, if not, well, we'll either do without or buy from the store.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What a Busy Week

Last Sunday afternoon, October 11, we drove to Wisconsin Dells where my sister and mom were waiting. We loaded my mom's things and her into our vehicle and turned around and drove home, stopping in LaCrosse for supper.

Monday we awoke to snow! The kids loved it and were outside right away (after I had dug through the boxes and bags to find the hats and mittens and boots) making a snowman.
Hannah's 14th birthday was on the 11th, but we celebrated on the 12th.
My mom stayed busy this past week canning applesauce and apple jelly and apple butter. I love that she doesn't mind helping me in this way! I stayed busy with errands and schoolwork and normal chores. Then on Friday night and all day Saturday I got to "play," that is I was at a scrapbooking retreat! The best part was the retreat was right next door at church, so I had no traveling! From 6pm till midnight on Friday and from 10am until midnight Saturday I was working on my album; I was able to finish 18 pages! Yee haw! All of us had great fun and we are coming up with another time either late winter or early spring to do this again.