Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday cards, revisited...
Remember how I posted last year about card garlands? This year, we've found a new craft that the girls are just crazy for. I know it's a bit late for the tree... but I'm running late, again.
We sliced the front of our cards into 1/2" strips with our scrap book cropper (don't have one? Oh, they are so much fun!! And easy to use- the girls can use it without Mom having to worry about trimmed digits. Mine is a Fiskars and I love it!) Anyway... You slice the 1/2"strips and then you punch holes at each end of the strips- put a fastener through the holes and then you spread out the strips- for some reason it just naturally makes a ball. The bigger the card the bigger the ball. You have to use the strips from the same card for each ball- no interchanging as different length strips mess up the balls. Reminds me of old fashioned paper chains. So recycle those sparkly cards! The ones with glitter are way cool. They look great on the tree and make wonderful little extra bow accessories for gifts. When you want to pack them away to save for next year, you just slide them back together flat.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rebekah's Feast...
Here's Bekah, my little flutterbudgetfairydiddle. She has personality by the gallon. She also has "pinkeye." And a dirth of teeth. She has lost 6 teeth in the past month! That's what happens when you are 7 years old. Most of us call her Boo, Joe gets to call her Becky- but nobody else is allowed to do that. He dotes on her. She is always by my side, jabbering away. She loves to color and draw pictures, and play with her "dollies." Cooking is one of her favorite things to do. Boo and Eva are best friends and they do everything together. Preparing a feast without Eva wasn't easy on her- the entire time we were out shopping for her feast Boo is talking a mile a minute about what Eva would like and she even bought Eva a present with her own money. She doesn't like people to stare at her and has been known to burst into tears if they do. She is, just a touch, shy.
My stomach is still aching from her feast. It was sooo good. Perfect for 6 growing young men, but maybe a bit heavy for their old Mom. She had a Xmas theme. Her table was set with blue lights and a stem of a poinsetta with had mysteriously fallen from my plant. I suspect the boys with their Nerf guns. She bought each child a chocolate santy and even put a bow on his head. There were sugar cookies with hot "toto" for an appetizer. Boo served up mashed potatoes with gravy and grilled cheese sandwiches. Joe says, "Wow. Starch city." The guys used their sandwiches as spoons and I tried it and it was really quite tasty that way. She had bug juice to drink- blue koolaid with gummy worms. Her "zert" was strawberry shortcake- thanks to Sara Lee. All in all, it was an incredible feast.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joe's Feast...

This is my oldest child, Joe (18y). He is a really good kid. He has always been headstrong- most people who know Joe would be surprised that I'd say that because he is always looking just like that picture- smiling and batting those ridicoulously thick eyelashes...but I am just so thankful that he seems to be headed, fullsteam, in the right direction! He is a sweet and thoughtful guy- a real problem solver. He drives a big ole truck and wears steel toed boots, but don't let that fool ya. He's extremely creative- notice a trend? Joe's a writer and most days he has to write at least a few pages of a fantasy novel he is working on- so when he's published, you can say, "I knew him when..." He also draws these amazing pictures, full of detail. Must take after my Mom, with the writing and drawing. He's as steady as a rock and once he makes up his mind, it's a done deal.

His feast was a Mexican fiesta. No big surprise as Joe is easy to please and he knows what will please his brothers and sisters. The kitchen was decorated with green and red crepe paper. He wrote their names on a piece of crepe and draped it over their plates- looked very artsy. He had nachos and cheese. Tacos, with all the fixin's. For dessert he had brownies with ice cream, hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream. He gave everyone their own Xmas cup with snowflakes on them. His drink was juice mixed with Sprite.

Joe has a sweetheart. Her name is Laurie. Aren't they an attractive couple? But they are so sweet and good to each other. She thinks he hung the moon. What mother could ask for more?


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Eva's feast...

Eva is 9 years old and she is one of the sweetest girls you will ever meet- ask anyone who knows her. She is just so sweet. She amazes me. She has always been very grown up for her age. She never whines of complains. She tends to be very matter of fact and practical. I love that about her. She keeps everybody grounded. Eva loves to mommy her baby dolls and to play outside. When it's time to work, she just puts on her apron, rolls up her sleeves and dives right in.

Eva's feast was amazing. Just amazing. Remember that she is 9 years old. She was very firm when she announced to me that she was going to have a "Jesus Feast." OK. What does that mean? Well, she had it all figured out. She bought a pair of socks for everyone(6 pairs for 4$) so we splurged a little to get some for the girls and Abe. Why socks? Well, she wanted to wash all their feet. And she did. One of the boys said, "Awkward." and it is when you are not used to that sort of thing. But she did it so sweetly and Daddy helped her change out the water after every pair of feet. She then presented them with their new socks so that their feet wouldn't get cold. She also provided head dresses for everyone- a piece of fabric with an elastic headband to hold it on. Us, being goofy. We had a couple strays in our mix- as usual. When she told me of her plans for her feast, I was just...amazed. I said, "Eva, you amaze me!" And she says, "I just listen to the Bible stories. It's amazing what you can learn." Mealwise, she had figs and grapes and pears for her appetizer. Grape juice in fancy glasses. Then there was flatbread and zahowie- a middle eastern type of salsa which is wonderful with bread. Fish was her main dish. We had a mini drama when my deep fryer up and died. Why tonight, of all nights? Eva just puts her arm around me and rubs my back and says, "It'll be alright Mom. I'm sure Daddy will get you another one." The frying pan came back in play and we moved right along without a hitch. Then her dessert was a great big M&M cookie which she made herself and decorated with the word "Jesus" on it. She said it was hard to think of a Jesus dessert.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Folks' Feast...

I got a phone call a few days ago, Mom asking if we had an open evening for her and Dad to host a feast. Told her we could certainly open a slot up for them. Now, that is carrying things a bit far- a 5 hour drive to host a feast! But Dad has taken 5 deer this fall and he was wanting to share- an event we were all very supportive of! Our freezer is now well stocked. So they drove up late Wednesday, their feast was Thursday night, and they left this morning. Follow that? A short visit, but very sweet.
Mom and Dad had a cranberry theme. The table was beautifully set with all kinds of greenery from their place, and a row of cranberry votives. She had fancy paper plates so that cleanup would be a breeze- smart lady! Cranberry chicken, cranberry jello salad, cranberry gingerale, cranberry relish, cranberry muffins... and tater tots and baked beans. For dessert she had a cherry chocolate cake- which was cranberry colored, and an apple cake. We all needed to be rolled away from the table! It was soooo good.
It was very sweet of them to make William and I the guests of honor- even placing tinsel crowns on our heads and providing horns for the children to blow. Dad gave us a very kind and generous tribute and stressed to the children what good parents they have and how they should value us and appreciate us. I think we must have blushed 10 shades of, cranberry. We were really touched by their thoughtfulness. It was a wonderful time together and they are gone too soon.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jacob's Feast...
Jacob had his feast, tonight. He's 15, and a barrel of laughs. Jacob is quick-witted and sensitive- always in tune with others around him. He's musically gifted, plays the violin and sings like nobody's business. He's a hard worker and I can always count on him to do his chores 100%. Jacob has the best imagination of anyone I know- myself excluded. He loves his dog, a black lab, named Shadow. What can I say? He's a breeze to be around. A real joy to spend time with.
His feast... well, I think his Dad and I might has broken a rib or two, we laughed so hard. He settled on a Barbarian feast- told you he has a great imagination. His table was very simply set with a candle center-piece I had picked up at a thrift shop a few years back. With 5 "whoa! Those are the biggest red candles I ever seen!"(of tapers, Abe, 5y) He had gifts of pens and mechanical pencils with pretty ribbon tied around. The kids were each given a sample piece of ribbon and they had to find the match and that was their seat. John commented on how nice and roomy the table was... no plates. The appetizer was rather uneventful with three big platters of all kinds of fresh fruit. Apples, pineapple, grapes, raspberries, bananas, oranges and pomegranate. Everyone munched and had very civilized conversation. He had Jones' sodas and served them in big ole mugs. And then the meal started rolling out- literally. Plop! There goes a potato on the table, and then an ear of corn..."Um Jacob, don't we need a plate, man?" Bill started rolling laughing right there. The boys were trying so hard to be polite when reminding him he needed plates. He says, "Who needs plates? We're having a barbarian feast!" He grabs a leg off a chicken(3 chickens straight from the store's rotisserie)- and plunks it down in front of Abe- jaws drop, disbelief written clearly on every face. Silence at last, Mom thinks. He was halfway around our sizable table before the kids started to see the humor of the situation. Heads still shaking, they caved and started using their hands to butter their rolls and tear off their own piece of meat. Abe picked up on the theme way too fast. Rolls started flying through the air and butter started dripping off fingers and Bill proclaimed that we needed to do this more often. I don't think my sides could stand it- I laughed so hard as the kids really just let lose and enjoyed themselves. Daniel even removed his jacket- I am pretty sure that only happens on bath day. The food was yummy and I am sure that helped the kids over their initial shock that Mom said it was okay to play with their food. There was a bit of nervous twitter around the table as dessert was about the be served- I don't think anyone relished the idea of eating icecream off the table with their fingers! But Jacob had mercy on them and served up a tasty coffee cake- everyone in this family has a soft spot for cinnamon. The dish chore was a breeze- just wiped all the bones from the table and soaped it down. Done! ahhhhh... that really was a blast.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

John's feast...
This is John and he's 12. A more cheerful, accomodating kid I've never known. If he knows his Dad is working on the house, he grabs his coat and is out there with him the whole time. A hard worker. He has a sewing machine set up, full time, in my quilting room and he sews most days. When he isn't sewing, he's duct taping something together. He's eternally creative and is constantly inventing things. He is rather confident and bold, admirable qualities in an adult, curious in a child. He's an optimist in the extreme. Nothing gets him down, or not for long.
His feast had an autumn theme- he's not a huge fan of winter and prefers the warmer days of summer. He said that it is not technically winter, yet. The snow outside the window was defying his logic. So he had a gazillion paper leaves shrewn across the kitchen floor- because walking in leaves is "the best." A garland of leaves down the length of the table, complete with twinkle lights and kerosene lamps. His menu was thoughtfully planned with jerky and nuts as an appetizer and corndogs with mac and cheese as his main course. Apple cider to drink and candy bar cake for dessert. Poor William is terribly sick with the tummy 'flu. But he showed up and did his part before creeping back to bed. John bought the children a movie to watch($5!) and because it was a childrens' movie, he gave Will and I extra gifts. A chocolate candy bar for his Dad and a very nice applique landscape for me. Wasn't that sweet and thoughtful? That's John!