Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Good Day

Dear Mom,

Good Day, Sunshine!!!

The diva stayed up all night slumber partying with a friend. We woke them up bright and early. They did have the common courtesy to smile nicely and look awake . . .

Just not very well rested.

We fixed blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Then I got to go to work and knit and talk knitting with adults all day. After 4 snowed in days with the children, it's a Good Day, Sunshine!!

Love, Wendy

My Hero

Dear Mom,
Outside temp, 20 degrees. Hot tub temp, 103 degrees.

Snow boots and a beach towel? No problem.

He's mine.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Dear Mom,
This winter, I made the difficult choice not to feed the birds with the usual black oil sunflower seed and bulk wild bird seed mix. I have had too many problems with mice in the garage (which is now under control), and an overpopulation of squirrels coming into the yard. Instead, I put out suet cakes, and I have attracted several birds. I took an assortment of pictures from inside, looking out.
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pipsqueak's favorite (a cardinal)
and...WHAT'S THIS?!!!
This squirrel "hung around" for quite a while. The birds didn't mind, and I didn't either!
Love, Bonnie Jo

Studio Time

Dear Mom,

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

I spent time in the studio today looking foward to Spring and Easter portraits.

Even Keeper gave her best effort to get into the spirit of things!!

Love, Wendy

A Reason to Knit (as if I needed one)

Dear Mom,
Yesterday, My Young Man informed me that he is saving his money.
To buy a car.
I am trying to forget about the time when he was 9 and told me he would make a good stunt driver.
I'll just knit on this for awhile.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Favorite Things

Dear Mom,
This is the third day that the kids are home due to being snowed in. We are all feeling a bit restless, including Keeper who just made her mad run through the house. The kids find this hilariously funny because Keeper will leap tall couches in a single bound, run figure 8s around all of us and dare us to try to catch her!!!! I am just surrounding myself with a few of my favorite things.

Fudgenuts from Sweet Sinsations in Mason, OH

Favorite books to get lost in, to dream in, to live and love in . . . .
Love, Wendy

A Long Walk

Dear Mom,
School was on a 2 hour delay this morning. I love 2 hour delays. And dioramas, but that is a story for another day.....
After the kids left, My Fit Neighbor and I took a 5 mile walk through the neighborhood and onto the Monon trail. The Monon hasn't been plowed, so about a mile of our walk was in deep, deep snow. Did I say deep? It. was. Deep. Walking in Deep Snow is hard work and I was WORN OUT. When we got back on the plowed road my legs felt like they weren't moving at all, kind of like how it feels when you pick something up expecting it to be heavy and it's not and you lift your arms up higher than you meant to.

Well, I huffed and puffed and My Fit Neighbor wasn't breathing heavy at all. I also might have blisters on my heels because I overcompensated and wore 2 pairs of my handknit wool socks in my boots. And in some places the snow was deep enough (did I tell you it was deep?) that I had to lift my legs up high to get through it and realized that this is what Bumper Joseph feels like every time he has to go out!

And even after all that my legs will not be skinny.

If I am not crippled by my walk, the house is getting some much needed TLC today after the weekend in Shipshewana and the snow day yesterday. I'll be spending some quality time with the vacuum cleaner, Mr. Swiffer and The Bosch's ( Walter Washer and Dottie Dryer, bless them).
Keep warm.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Marge's First Egg!

Dear Mom,
Today was a special day for Marge! She laid her first egg. Gloria sat next to her patiently in the nest box while she sat...and sat...and sat. Bless her sweet little heart!
Love, Bonnie Jo

Winter Wonderland

Dear Mom,

We had 1.5" of ice overnight and another 5 inches of snow this morning. We are under a Level 3 snow emergency which means we aren't allowed to go anywhere unless absolutely necessary. Of course, David went to work. He got there without any problems, almost in record time; probably because he was the only person driving this morning!

There was much sleeping in (me!), staying in our pjs much longer than should be allowed (me!), sledding (the kids!), snowboarding (the kids!) and shoveling (me.). The Game Cube has been pulled out and the girls made Baked Snowflakes.

Keeper and I snuggled, I burned the frozen pizza for the kids because I was trading emails with you, Aunt Chris, Aunt Karen, Bonnie and Kim but I did manage to feed everyone an unburned lunch, finish an arm on my neck-down sweater, handwash our breakfast dishes and throw snowpants and coats in the dryer.

Hope you enjoy your snowed in day, too. Don't do too much vacuuming and ironing!
Love, Wendy

Snowed In

Dear Mom,

It is a snow day. I woke up , watched the school listings crawl by on the tv and then went back to bed. When I did get up for real, it was the kind of morning the required spending lots of time in my favorite robe- you know, the old green velour number that zips up the front? That's the one! We had 9 inches of snow last night. I know because I measured the snow on the patio this morning when I went out to fill up the bird feeders.

My Hero took the doglsed (aka "Stealth", the Honda Civic Hybrid) in to work this morning after shoveling himself out of the driveway. Don't worry, he arrived safely.

The Little Lady has had a great time playing with the neighbors in the hills left behind by the snowplow,
and My Young Man is out
shoveling with a Buddy.
I think Buddy is talking more
than shoveling (note position of snow shovel on Buddy's shoulder), but they are happy.
And outside.

For me, the best way to spend a day like this is inside with hot tea and knitting.
I'll bake some cinnamon streusel muffins and make hot chocolate.

But mostly I will be drying coats, hats, mittens and snow pants in the dryer, wiping up the snow puddles on the kitchen floor and balancing boots upside down on all the heating vents.....

And to give us a hopeful glimpse
of spring-like beauty, here is a
picture of the flowers My Hero
brought me yesterday.
Tulips and yellow roses.

I think the sun is starting to come out.

Only 5 days til Groundhog day.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter Eggs

Dear Mom,
Golda and Gloria have been laying one egg a day for me since Golda's egg debut on Christmas Eve! I didn't expect the girls to begin laying until spring, since Winter's short days and cold temperatures are not ideal for hens to begin producing. The girls proved me wrong! Marge is a bit behind the others, although I'm happy to report that she is showing signs of laying soon! Maybe she will deliver on Valentine's Day! Meg is conserving her energy; she is using it to keep all 22 ounces of herself warm. Perhaps her dainty, cream-colored eggs will arrive in time for Easter!
Love, Bonnie Jo

Happy Snow Day!

Dear Mom,
We woke up to lots of snow this morning!
It is still snowing and we are supposed to get a wintry mix of snow and ice later this afternoon. No, we don't have to go anywhere and yes, David is being careful driving in it!
School was cancelled and we are all loving it:

The teenager

The diva

The pipsqueak

The neighbors

And me! I am drinking coffee in my favorite mug and finishing a sweater that I am knitting for the store (Yarns & Fabrications in West Chester, OH). I am knitting a Knitting Pure & Simple pattern #257, the Split Neck T-Shirt for Women. I am teaching a neck-down sweater class so this is my store sample. I am using the Louet Gems, a beautiful light worsted weight. It is surprisingly soft and wonderful to work with!!

The most important thing today: Happy Birthday, Kim!!!
Hope you have a day full of knitting, reading and relaxing!!!
Love, Wendy

48 Years

Dear Mom,

Forty-eight years ago today you became a Mom for the first time. I learned how to be a good wife and mother from you. Thank you for being a Good Example to us!

This is what greeted me this morning when I came downstairs to fix breakfast for the kids. Oreo is on TOP of the guinea pig igloo looking for her lettuce and carrots! Lucy is standing on the pellet dish.

After getting the kids out the door, I had a a healthy breakfast of homemade yogurt and my granola. This morning I learned that if you forget to turn off the yogurt maker when you go to bed and the yogurt cooks for..... let's say an extra eight hours,

it is still good.

Kim's Granola
(makes a whole bunch)

In a turkey roasting pan, combine:
1- 42 oz box old fashioned oatmeal
3/4 c brown sugar
2c slice almonds
1 1/2 t salt.

In a separate bowl, combine, and then add to ingredients in roasting pan, mixing well:
3/4 c canola oil
1/3 c honey
1/4 c blackstrap molasses
1 1/2 t vanilla

Bake at 350 until a dark toasty brown, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

Remove from oven and stir in
12 0z craisins
8 oz dried blueberries
6 oz dried cherries
1 c flax seed

Cool and store in airtight containers.

Keep warm and be careful if it snows like they are saying!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Perfect Pepperoni Pizza

Dear Mom,

We ate one of our favorite dinners: our homemade pepperoni pizza. The dough is super easy to make and the kids love to add the toppings. David likes to roll out the dough and bake it for 3 minutes. He thinks the crust is a little more done when we bake it a bit before adding the goodies. Anyway, here is the dough recipe:

Pizza Dough

1 package rapid rise yeast

1 cup warm tap water

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt

3 cups flour

Mix all ingredients together (I cheat and use my Cuisinart with the dough blade). Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Roll out dough (we roll our dough out onto a pizza stone). Bake in a 500 degree oven for 3 minutes. Add sauce (I make my own sauce so we just add what looks yummy!) and toppings. I usually throw some Italian seasonings and/or garlic on our cheese. Bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and lightly browned. Enjoy!

We usually make cheese and/or pepperoni pizzas but we have made chicken ranch pizzas, too. For the sauce, mix 1/2 cup Ranch dressing, 1 3-oz. package cream cheese and a small amount of sauce (again, whatever you think looks yummy!). Top with chicken breast, red onion and Colby-jack cheese!

Love you Mom,


Dear Mom,
This is the beginning of a fun project for Bonnie, Wendy and me. We are gonna share the stories of our days, the things we create, the food we cook, and the pictures we take of our gardens and pets and kids and projects. This will be fun.
Love, Kim