Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whirl into Winter Giveaway!

(Contest is over! See the winner's name here. Thanks for all who stopped by my blog!)
I happy to be part of a fun giveaway in the quilt blogging world! You can find details about ALL the giveaways over at the Whirl Into Winter blog....there are lots of bloggers participating!

For my giveaway...I'm keeping it simple! Simply leave a comment ON or AFTER 1/1/09 on THIS post and I will enter your name in the random drawing. I must have a way to contact you. If you are set to "no-reply" on your comments, I will not be able to include you in the giveaway. If you do not have a blog, please make sure to leave your email addy in your comment. If I don't have an email contact for you, I will not be able to put your name in the draw! Also, international bloggers are free to enter as well...I don't mind mailing overseas. That's it....easy enough, huh?

Okay, so now for the good stuff! Here is a picture of the goodies I am including in the giveaway:
It's sort of a random group of items...but they are things I've been collecting or making for the giveaway over the last couple of weeks. There is a wool Chicken Pin Pal made by me, a Valentine Pennie Pocket, 3 fat quarters, and "Fast, Fun & Fabulous Quilts" book. There very likely will be more added to the package, but that part will be a surprise!! :)

I will draw the winner the evening of January 15th. All entries between 1/1 and 1/15 will be included!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and entering my giveaway! Good luck!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Eve Mystery Quilt

Bonnie at Quiltville is starting a new mystery quilt on New Year's Eve. So...two things pop into my head when I saw this: 1) I really don't like mystery quilts! LOL I've been disappointed in the past with the results, so the thought of wasting time, fabric, etc, helps me to stay away from them. 2) I need to start another project like I need a whole in the head! So why would I even consider doing this mystery quilt? I'm not sure I can answer that...I'm just tempted to do it for some reason. I've seen Bonnie's other mysteries come together and sometimes I was a bit sorry I didn't participate, so maybe that's the reason. I want to be part of the fun!

So...guess what I did this morning? I pulled fabrics from my stash! Bonnie choose double pinks for one of the colors, but I switched that color to red. Those that know me, won't be surprised that my color palette is basically red, white, and blue! I love the addition of gold and brown too.
Anyone else going to join in the fun? (let's hope it is fun!) It's just the first step on NYE, then the other steps will be posted periodically over the next few weeks/ should be pretty easy to keep up with.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Recap

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I know I was mostly quiet, with just the three of us and one friend for dinner. Even still, it felt as though I cooked and cleaned most of the day! :) It's all worth it though! We even had snow on Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day!

Yesterday, we actually braved the after Christmas sales and went to a couple of stores. There were plenty of crowds, but nothing too bad and the lines moved quickly. Zach wanted to spend the couple of gift cards he received. :)

So, my friend Peggy had a new post on her blog called "The Week Between." What are your plans for the week between Christmas and the New Year? I'm hoping to lay low as much as possible and enjoy the quiet, more relaxed days. I do have some quilting related goals though...1) put the finishing touches on my Whirl into Winter Blog giveaway (check back 1/1 for more info!), 2) put the final border on my log cabin/churn dash quilt so I can send it to the quilter, 3) figure out how to make a shower curtain from quilt blocks! If any of you have any tips for that, I'd love to hear 'em! I've seen a couple of pictures and I don't think it should be too difficult...I'll keep you posted on my progress.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some pictures of Zach making our traditional Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. I make the dough in the bread machine and assemble them sometime on Christmas Eve, then I pop them in the refrigerator and they are ready to cook whenever we are ready to eat Christmas morning. This year, Zach got into the assembly process and just took right over...I like that!! Left me free for picture taking! He said, "Are you going to put these on your blog?" Well, of course, dear! :)

Rolling out the dough and spreading out the butter....
sprinkling on the sugar and cinnamon....slicing them the pan to rise....and the finished product on Christmas morning! Yum!
(I don't know why the pictures aren't clickable! grrrr! Anyone have a fix for that?)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Present Time!!

Remember this post? I showed you the boxes I had received in the mail from my two bestest buddies Robin & Peggy. I finally got to open them Monday night! We were all trying to open them together...but Robin is in the middle of moving (yes, she's moving the week of Christmas, poor girl!) and Peggy was celebrating her birthday with her family. But we all finally gave the go ahead and said, "Open 'em up!!"
Here is Smokey, waiting to "help" me open the first box.....
Robin sent me a cute, cute blue scarf that she knitted and 'Peanut' the elephant. Look at those teeny tiny yo-yo's!! There was also thread, a cupcake pincushion, a Christmas notepad, candy and more!! Oh, there was also some fun "popper" things, but my son, Zach, and I popped them open already! There was fun little trinkets inside.
Here is what was in the box from Peggy...look at all those gifties! I think she bought out the stores!! :) She said she's been shopping since the summertime and bought little things while on vacation in North Carolina and Hershey, PA. She sent a cool polka dot ironing board cover, the "Jelly Roll Quilts" book (I've been wanting that one!), recipe cards, ornaments, candy...oh and she made me one of her fun little totes. It will be perfect for makeup and such while travelling.
Aren't they the best quilting buddies a girl could have? I love each and every item and feel so spoiled!! Thank you two!!!
I also wanted to send a cute picture of the kitties. These two aren't the best of friends....actually, I should say that Whiskers (the older black cat) isn't fond of Smokey (the younger grey cat), so they hardly ever get very close to each other. I caught them both looking out the back door. I realized they were watching birds. If you look closely, you'll see a small patch of grass showing through the snow. There were about 10 birds out there looking for something to eat in that little grass patch...poor birdies!

Hope you all are finding time to enjoy the holiday with your families!!
Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day

It seems many parts of the country are getting snow this week! We've been getting about an inch a day and last night probably 2-3 more inches....which is a lot for this part of the state, or so I hear. We love the snow and look forward to more! It's supposed to keep snowing with up to 8 more inches coming on Monday....I'll believe it when I see it! :)

Check this out....My two best quilty friends sent me Christmas packages and we are waiting to open them "together" Monday evening. Think I can hold out that long? Could you??!!! What do you think is inside?? Whatever it is, I know I'll love it! Thank you Robin and Peggy!! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yummy new candy treat! (to me anyway)

My friend, Peggy, emailed a link for a yummy holiday treat that looked super fast and easy to make. The original recipe calls for "round" mini pretzels. Little did she know, she started a flurry of activity as people up and down the eastern seaboard (and Idaho) searched for these round pretzels. Internet orders were placed, phone calls to husbands to stop at the store were made...the hunt is on for round pretzels! :)

Alas, here in Idaho, we settled on regular "mini twist" pretzels that are found readily at the commissary. I think they turned out quite nicely. They are tasty too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008's cold outside!

I put a new weather widget thingy on the's been pretty chilly here the last couple of days. I woke up this morning and the Weatherbug on my computer said "0". Brrr!! We're supposed to get more snow by tomorrow night too.

Our youngest Zach is home for Christmas break! It's so good to see him again...even the animals were happy to see him. In this picture is Whiskers...and she is usually shy around "strangers," so obviously Zach isn't a stranger to her. :) I wish our daughter Megan was able to come home too...but not this year. We saw her at Thanksgiving though and hopefully she'll be able to visit soon!
Here is another picture of our tree. I was trying out different settings on my camera and found one that enabled me to take a picture that also showed off the twinkle lights. I love our tree. :)

Keep warm!
Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa's Workshop?

Apparently I took a bit of a blogging break! No real reason except that this time of year seems to be busy, busy, busy! Last week it felt as though every minute of the day was scheduled with a "must do" event or project. I'm happy to say that this week is a little less busy, but I have been working on some Christmas projects with a deadline! I can't post pictures of some of the things because I don't want to spoil any surprises!

I do have some pictures to share though! The first one is a little craft I found online for our squadron Children's Christmas party. I think it's just the cutest little thing! And so simple really...

The next picture is of the best candy on the planet!! LOL My family looks forward every year to these to Christmas candies that I make. The chocolate on the right is called "noodle candy" and I think my Nana started making it probably 30+ years ago. The candies on the left are "buckeyes," I guess because they look like buckeye nuts. This is a recipe I got from a friend that was from Ohio...another nice benefit of moving so much and meeting people from all parts of the country! Yummy!!
This is a quickie table runner that I made for my husband's secretary...I pretty sure she doesn't read my blog. :) It's made all from stash and was fast and easy to put together...a plus for those last minute gifts! :P

Here you can see Smokey "inspecting" my I've said before, he takes his job very seriously...actually, he is also enamoured by the safety pins and I know he's just waiting for one to jump out so he can taste it! He's been scolded a time or two for getting too close to the pins, so he's keeping his distance. :)

Not to be is the elusive Quilt Inspector #2, Whiskers. While I was on the floor pinning the table runner, she was in the chair next to me watching from above. She'll let Smokey do the grunt work on the floor while she "supervises" from the comfort of a chair. This is one of her favorite spots and many times I have to share the seat while I sew. She's very generous, isn't she?

Lastly, here is a picture of Travis putting up a few lights outside. We didn't do too much this year, just a simple strand along the roofline. We live in base housing and they happen to be brand new (which is wonderful!), but they are being strict about not putting nails, etc, anywhere on the exterior. The houses are still under warranty with the builder for one year and it's actually the warranty company setting the rules. They even prohibited flagpoles at first! How well do you think that went over on a military base??? Needless to say, flagpole brackets are permitted now. Anyway, I'm happy with what he was able to put up and it's even on a timer, so no one has to run out in the cold to turn off the lights at night! :)

How are you coming along with your holiday preparations? I've still got a bit of shopping, wrapping, and mailing left to do...but I know it will get done! Just have to keep chipping away at my list.
Until next time....
Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Tree Time!!

We put up our tree a little earlier than usual this year. We have some company coming this weekend and I wanted to have it ready before that. (picture is with and without flash) :)
Both kids are away at school, so this was the first year that I put the ornaments on all by myself. :( I was sad about that....but in reality, I always have to do most of the job anyway. The kids always put a few of their favorite ornaments on and then were distracted by other things before too long! :) Every year each of us gets at least two new after 23 years of marriage, that's a lot of ornaments!! But I love each one of them and they all have sentimental value. My mom gives our two kids an ornament every year. Megan has been collecting the Holiday Barbie ornaments from Hallmark since she was age that means she has 16-17 Barbie ornaments!!
Since we move so frequently, I always try to get an ornament for the region or state that we currently live in. For example, there is a Mickey ornament from when we lived in Florida, a Hershey Kiss from when we live in Delaware (near Hershey, PA), a cut out of a C-17 airplane from McChord AFB, and the list goes on and on! I love searching for the perfect ornament that will help us remember our time at each assignment.
My latest craze is snowman 'em! Does anyone else have an ornament obsession??

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving and Birthday Fun!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know we sure did. We traveled to California to spend the weekend with my family. My family lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the east side of California, near Tahoe. Here are pictures of the road we traveled over from Nevada. This pass closes over the winter because it's too dangerous to keep you can see, we probably just made it before they close for the season.
Every year, we make little turkey cookies and this year was no exception! Here are two nieces and my daughter, Megan (left), with their creations!

Saturday was my mom's ?? birthday...she probably doesn't want me to announce her age on the world wide web! (you can thank me later, mom!). We had the four siblings together and all the grandkids (except my son Zach and Mike's son Chad) together for a family pic!
Mike, Me, Mom, Jenn, Matt

We had a great time being together and celebrating her birthday. I hope all of you enjoyed the blessings of family as well!!