Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

The gathering of tasty morsels begins well before the Thanksgiving Holiday - this year we purchased our turkey from Country Ark Farm - a nice 29 lb. bird - not our biggest but we will certainly have lots of leftovers.

The last pick up for our summer share at our CSA always comes right before Thanksgiving and we look forward to the brussel sprouts and cheese pumpkins especially.
I still remember the first year we joined the CSA (13 years ago!) and how amazed I was at the huge stalks of brussel sprouts - I realized my children have never known brussel sprouts in any other way! By the way, this year the boys discovered that the stalks make excellent swords after the sprouts are removed.
We had our pick of an assortment of root vegetables - these we will continue to see throughout the winter but Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without sweet potatoes from the garden.
We serve them baked - simply baked - it would be a high crime in this house to let anything even resembling a marchmellow anywhere near these lovelies!

The menu this year featured favorite simple foods in all their goodness

Roast turkey
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Brussel Sprouts
Cranberry-apple conserve
Small rosemary sourdough loaves
Corn pudding (made by Grandma!)
Sparkling cider

There were actually two kinds of stuffing - a big batch of apple-celery- onion stuffing and a smaller batch of oyster stuffing that my dear hubby made just for me!

The table was set and ready, we like the napkin holders from the Toymaker.
And new on our festival table this year were two Native American dolls that joined our pilgrims that I made years ago. These really aren't hard to make - the directions for basic heads can be found in The Nature Corner. A little wool for hair, some embroidery floss braided for the headband and there you go -

And last but not least, dessert!

We always have Pumpkin Whoopie pies - they are so good - another great recipe from the International Cookie Cookbook. I also tried a new, untried recipe but I figured how could anything with chocolate and pumpkin turn out bad? A little daring turned into a hit -
Pumpkin Chocolate Tart .

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christ the King

Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King which marks the end of the liturgical year. Last year at this time, I remember I was at a concert that my girls were in ...I remember tsk, tsking the singing of Christmas carols before Advent had even begun!

But then they started to sing Joy to the World and as I listened to the lyrics I realized how wonderful this carol is for this day -

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love.

I found this wonderful image from this blog - what a wonderful collection of Holy cards! This image will have a special place during our evening meal. As this Church year comes to an end we can reflect on how we have made room for Christ in our family life and in our own lives. As we look forward to a new season of advent and another joy-filled Christmas we can decide in what ways we will let our hearts prepare Him room! I will tuck this image and this carol away for advent to reappear Christmas morning when we will again sing...


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Leaf Fort

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our newest addition!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Lanterns for St. Martin's Day

We haven't painted as a family in quite a while and I knew I wanted t0 make some lanterns for St. Martin's Day so we combined the two activities.

We started out by laying red and yellow paint down next to each other and then placing red on some of the yellow and yellow on some of the red - this brings out different shades and showed me what the children could do with their colors (we have some work to do). The tree is made by bringing blue in with a smaller brush and then going over the blue tree with more red and yellow. The tree would probably be a bit much for a younger child - Aidan wanted a tree so I put one down for him and then he went over it with his brush.
After the painting had dried (the next day) we drew in little lanterns that would decorate our tree. The girls and I carefully cut out the shapes with an exacto knife as below
Another option is to enhance the picture with coloring - Aidan wanted a St. Martin figure which I do admit to "massaging" into a more recognizable figure - I always ask permission before I "help" with a drawing.
When the cutting and coloring is finished, the edges and glued together - our smaller lanterns were made with one painting - the larger ones are two paintings glued together. We used good old Elmer's glue and just held it in place for a bit to dry. The smaller lanterns were fit around a metal lid from a ball mason jar. A handle can be added to the smaller lanterns by threading some florist wire through the top. The bigger lanterns we will keep on a table top and just enjoy the glow.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Halloween

We stopped off to visit Nana before our fun evening with friends.
I actually really cheated this year and simply raided the costume box we keep in the attic. We already had the Robin Hood costume and Little Red Riding Hood's cloak - my oldest daughter took an old bridesmaid dress of mine and printed out a butterfly Mardi Gras mask we found online. The only thing I had to do was take the large mouse years off the 3T sweatsuit and stitch them onto to Despereaux's 5T sweatshirt. What! You don't know who Despereaux is?? Well if you don't recognize him now maybe you will this December - we are all very excited to see the movie - a rare treat in our house. (But read the book first!)

After a hearty healthy dinner of chili, cornbread, and butternut squash soup everyone was ready for some serious trick or treating.
Among the girls we had Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ann of Green Gables, Little Red Riding Hood, a Masquerade Butterfly, Mother Theresa, and a princess. The boys? As you can see they were all boy - Robin Hood, a Ninja (who managed to jump out at members of our group a time or two much to his delight!) and our very unusual mouse.