Friday, December 28, 2007

Peaceful Friday

Today is a peaceful day. We are home for the day with no plans because I have a virus and have not been feeling well. But it has been a good day. The kids are really quiet today too. Maybe we all needed a day off! I feel bad that Robin is working!

I have had some time to read, to knit and even do a bit of quilting. I have started reading the "Sunrise Series" by Karen Kingsbury. This is the fourth series I have read by her this year. It has been great to have a Christian fictional book going. I find it very relaxing! There are only 2 books of 4 published from this present series but I believe the other two will be out in the Spring of 2008 so I don't have terribly long to wait.

I am finally working on the squares from the past 2 quilt swaps of T2CHK!! Finally, they will become a quilt!! Some of the blocks were shy of 12.5" (including mine...EEK). So today, I have been building the blocks up with some cream material. I am oversizing them and then will trim them down to my desired size (if I do it right!!). I originally wasn't sure what I was going to do but then Wardeh from Such Treasures gave me the idea of building them up. For me, quilting has always been about diving in and then making it work!

Life's not perfect is it? I am sure not perfect... I am forgiven but far from perfect!! So, I thought it might be fun to share some of my *recent* imperfections:

This is my quilt square that I made too small and am now building up.

Oops! I am out of yarn!!

Okay, this is a bit of a longer story. I am knitting a shawl for myself because I am always cold in the evening. Well in the chaos of Christmas presents I misplaced one of the size 11 needles. I searched for a bit and then decided to get my other pair of size 11 needles. They did feel smaller for me but I still used them. As you can see they really were smaller so I have a dent in my shawl! I corrected the problem by adding a couple of stitches. I decided not to rip out the rows because the shawl is for me and I won't mind the dent! :) Yes, I did finally find the missing needle which it a blessing because they were my favorites! :)

Christmas Eve Memories

Every Christmas Eve the kids get to open one present. This year it was the present from Robin's parents. Here they are sporting their nerf guns and nerf "armor"! ;)

We spent quite a bit of time making chocolate covered pretzels, marshmellows and strawberries. The smart idea I had was to use a stainless steel bowl in a pan to make a double boiler. The truly dumb idea I had was to leave the stems on the strawberry to give us something to grab onto as we dipped the strawberries in the chocolate. That was fine until some of the stems end up UNDER the chocolate and then you end up with stems in your mouth! EWWWW!! Did we still eat them, you might ask? Well, they were covered in CHOCOLATE so OF COURSE we did!! HAHAHA!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas is coming!!

Christmas has taken over at the Twombly household and let me tell ya', it's a beautiful thing! Yesterday Robin finished up our shopping, wonderful man that he is! At home we focused on making Christmas cards for our church friends. We also got all the Christmas goodies into the house for our next two days of Christmas Eve and Christmas.
This year I decided to ask the kids for their favorite party foods. It is really silly for me to exhaust myself on a big turkey dinner when we don't have company and the kids don't care for it. is what we came up with:
Breakfast: Dunkin' Donuts!
Big Meal of the Day:
Christmas Eve: Broiled Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn
Christmas Day: Lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, homemade bread
The rest of the day we will pick on:
~Apples and grapes
~Baby carrots and cucumbers with Ranch Dip
~Baked Lays Chips
~Sharp cheese and crackers
~Pretzels, strawberries and marshmellows dipped in melted chocolate
To Drink
~Soda please mom!!
If I can get through the crowds tomorrow early than I am going to buy an ice cream maker. I have been meaning to buy one so that I can make my grandmother's chocolate ice cream. :)
Also on the schedule is that I need to wrap allllll the kids presents and have them help me decorate ginger bread men (oh yeah add that to the list of foods) and then I think that is about it!!
Is anyone out there done with all Christmas preparations?

Brainiac Dog...

Is it a bad thing if the dog shows more interest in the school work than the kids do? Haha! Just kidding...

"Do you need some help with that Tyler?? I rock at Biology!! C'mon give me a chance!!"

"Coool...could you read that part about 'carrier pigeons again?"

"Mom, could you move your hand please? It's in my way..."

It's Winter!

Winter has officially arrived! So, at least now we have a good reason for all of this snow!! This first picture is the back of our house. Icicles anyone?
This next one is the from the door of our sunroom out to the back deck. The snow was up onto the window section.

Here is my back yard at the tree line. I do love it when the trees are all snow covered!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Tree Time!

Yay! We FINALLY have the Christmas Tree!! The kids wanted to wait this year to put up the tree. They think it is harder to wait for Christmas when the tree it up! HUH?
This was a good weekend to put it up. We had a blizzard so there was more extra time in our weekend! Here is Robin putting up the lights. He is our "Puttin' Up the Lights Pro". ;)

Then, once the lights were up, the kids could get to serious decorating!

The kids all take turns putting the topper on the tree. This year it was Rachel's turn. She is not fond of being up high but she did it!

Voila!!! For some reason my pictures of the tree all came out blurry but it gives the general idea...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dressed in White

Home Sweet Home after last night's snowfall.
The driveway and view across the street. Just beyond those trees is the lake.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This 'n That

Yes, it is snowing out! It's dark too, but I decided to try a picture anyway. There doesn't seem to be any doubt that we will have a white Christmas this year. I can't believe that Christmas is only 12 days away!! YIKES! I need to finish up my Christmas shopping and get packages in the mail. Like many others who are paying top dollar for gas and $3.00 per gallon on heating oil, it is be a slimmer Christmas. But Christmas, just the same...
We have been so busy working hard on our schoolwork. I barely have time for anything else. Tyler starts his school work at 7:30 a.m. We start with me teaching him Math. Then I add Christian and Rachel at 8:00 a.m. We break for lunch at noon. Usually Rachel and Christian only need about 30 more min.-1 hour after lunch. Tyler requires more time if he expects to have no evening or weekend work. Most days, even he is done by 3:00 p.m. Then it is time to go to whatever activity is scheduled for that day whether it be music lessons or dance lessons or soccer training. I feel as though we are racing through the days.
This is why I so love snow!! A good snow storm cancels outside activities and gives you time to catch up with yourself. Today's storm was great timing. I needed to correct papers and help Tyler study for a big Biology exam. Robin needs to do some extra computer stuff for work. Rachel has been playing lots of piano today. I bought her a couple of books of Christmas music right on her level and she has been very excited about learning the new songs. Christian is playing a bit with the piano deciding if he would like to learn the piano alongside of already learning the drums. Anyway, it is a good night to be home!
Today I bought supplies for baking Christmas cookies. Too bad I forgot that I promised to bring appetizers to the Ladies Christmas party tomorrow night (church event). Yep, typical "Karen" move!! ;) Oh well, I guess I will pick up a veggie platter on my way there tomorrow. I really can't wait! It is my first ladies event in our new (newish anyway) church. I am excited to get to know more of our ladies. Our church is so friendly and loving. We are just having a blast there!!
Well, I best go get Tyler studying...
Have a great night!

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for:

Jesus, my Savior (This print is by Larry Weingartner. You can purchase it at hardworking husband.
My fun, happy kids.

Our little pup, Dash.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Art Show

Our homeschool group offered an Art Class recently based on the book "Discovering Great Artists". The teacher would read from the book about a famous artist and then the children would use a technique from the artist. This was such a fun class! Christian and Rachel were very excited to share their art at the closing Art Show. This class was definitely a highlight of our fall! We'll miss it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow Day!

This morning, which happens to be Christian's 11th birthday, Christian and Rachel woke up so excited that snow had come! They ate their breakfasts and put on their snow suits...they were all ready to go outside. What?!?! Mom wants us to do MATH first?!?! Well, here they are, snow suits on, doing their Math! This just cracked me up!!

I forgot to take pics of the snow so stay tuned! I'll post those tomorrow...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Robin's Big 40th Birthday!

Here are a few pictures of Robin's 40th Birthday:

I used a pan that was too big for the cake so the only way to make it a 2-layer cakes was to make half of a cake. There wasn't much room for all 40 candles!! Boy, one more candle and I might've needed a "Burn Permit" from the town to light this cake!! Robin was a bit...shocked...that I used 40 candles!
Yeah, no problem blowing out all those candles!!

Happy Birthday!!
Psalm 128
1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4 Thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
5 May the LORD bless you from Zion
all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
6 and may you live to see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"My Silly Cat" by Christian Twombly Age 10

"My Silly Cat"
My silly cat sleeps when mom's away.
When mom is home he will play,
but not on a rainy day.
He sleeps in the window
and is scared of crows.
His name is Dash
and he runs with a crash.
When he eats he eats like a hog.
Dash is a DOG!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Honor of Our Dear Veterans~Thank you!

The Things That Make A Soldier Great
by, Edgar Guest
The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,
To face the flaming cannon's mouth nor ever question why,
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,
The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,
The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:
'Tis these that make a soldier great.
He's fighting for them all.
'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;
'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam
As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.
Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.
What is it through the battle smoke the valiant solider sees?
The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,
The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.
The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome
But to the spot, where'er it be -- the humblest spot called home.
And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there
And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,
And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.
He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,
And only death can stop him now -- he's fighting for them all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday's Penny Pinching Thoughts

This week I rediscovered "GoodWill". A friend of mine kept insisting I visit this certain GoodWill store south of me. Finally I have and I am so glad I did!! Now, I am picky. I won't buy anything with stains, holes, or too much sign of wear. I want it to look new or nearly new. Oh I found so many great deals for the kids and all of them good name brands like "Arizona," "Nike", "Gap", "Old Navy" and the like! I found:

For Tyler:
1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of athletic pants, 1 winter coat.

For Christian:
1 pair of jeans, 2 pair of athletic pants.

For Rachel:
3 pairs of jeans, 3 shirts, 1 sweater, 1 shrug.

All totalled it cost $18.75! If had chosen Wednesday to go it would have been half price! This week we will go back to see what we can find for my husband.

In other penny pinching news, we signed up for "Ebay" today. I hope to list some curriculum there. I am going to check out "Vegsource" too and see where I might do better. Hopefully it will put some Christmas money in my pocket.

I have two goals this week. The first is to find consignment shops that will buy used adult and children's clothing. I have some clothes in pretty good shape I think I could sell to them.

My other goal is to sign up for "Freecyle." This is an internet yahoo loop where people list things they are willing to part with for free. The website is . You put the name of your town/city and state and it will tell you the towns/cities near you that participate. I'll tell more about it once I sign up! :)

I hope you are all having a great weekend! I am off to do some knitting. I made up a new pattern called "Nubbins". It is cute. I'll post a picture and the addy for the pattern hopefully tomorrow.

"Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." Ps. 100:2

Saturday for God's Glory

No, it isn't snowing yet but I can't help but think that this will soon be our view!

Today has been a good day! It's rain, rain, raining in Maine thanks to "Hurricane Noel". We are all cozy warm at home.

I have been trying to do as much around the house as possible so that we have a very minimal amount to do tomorrow. So we:

~tidied of course
~wash, dried, folded and put away all the laundry
~wrote up a grocery list and Robin went to the store
~Robin also cleaned off our sunroom roof before the rain started
~made sure kids clothes are ready for church tomorrow
I also tried something new. I cooked up our Pot Roast and Potatoes so that when we come home from church we can put the cooked food from frig to plate and heat it up in the microwave. Then, when done our few dishes can go right in the dishwasher. We can have sandwiches for our evening meal.

I am looking forward to a nice day of rest tomorrow after church! :) What do you do to prepare ahead for Sunday?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pinching Pennies for Breakfast

All summer long I just couldn't bring myself to do much baking. But boy when the house cools down for fall that oven gains its appeal back!! This weekend Robin made up a pie crust recipe. We used half to make a quiche. For me, quiche is a great way to use whatever you have on hand to make a yummy breakfast. This particular quiche used up some left over ham. We didn't have enough for a meal but there was plenty for a quiche. For the filling we just used 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1 1/2 cups cheese on hand (this was cheddar), a Tblsp. of flour, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 cup (or so) of ham.
With the rest of the crust, we made poptarts!! The kids love poptarts but they are expensive. But all they really are is pie crust with a thin filling. We made some with our favorite raspberry jam and some with a mix of peanut butter and brown sugar. Personally, peanut butter in my poptarts is not appealing but someone was pleased because they were gone in NO TIME!

Packaged foods become quite economical if you just make up your own form of your favorites!! I would love to hear if anyone out there has some favorite packaged foods that they turned to homemade treats! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Smile for Portfolio Pictures, Children!

During the school year I try to take pictures of the kids accomplishments and activities. We bring these to our homeschool portfolio appointment. Last year we put together a little slide show with music of our pictures. The woman who did our portfolio seemed to like that and the kids really liked it too. It was a nice representation of our memories, you know?

So today we took some pics. The first few are them trying to *behave* and smile politely for me. Then last last couple are them *breaking out* and showing what they are *really* like!! (We normally try to keep that under wraps! *wink*)

Such nice children... Here you see their salt dough maps of Ancient Egypt.

Here is a close up of the porcelain pottery they recently painted at "Get Fired Up" pottery store.

Again, still trying to smile nice to mom but dying to break out...

Yep, those are the kids I KNOW!

This 'n That...

We are in a little break from sports so it is a nice time to pull my handcrafts back out. These two dishcloth pics were actually made in August (I have started a new cloth; it is a "Nubbins" pattern I found online and will show soon). These cloths below were patterns from my Monthly Dishcloth group.

I was excited to do the above pattern because I had never done a cable stitch before. I must say it is much easier than one would think!!

This one above is suppose to be a picture of a dolphin leaping above the waves.
We are just having the mildest weather for fall. My annuals are still blooming away and I am still getting tomatoes! Here are my tuberous impatiens that I have had since May:

This pic isn't the greatest but you can see my barrel is still thriving:

Below you can see my plum tomato plants. They keep getting covered with falling leaves!