Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fun

I'm so happy! Today I got my first paycheck for my new "substitutoring" job.  It's small, but every little bit helps. Plus, I think my new job is really fun. I went in to sub again on Tuesday and the time just flew by. I'm hoping that I get to sub more during the next semester.  Not that I want the regular tutors to get sick....really.

Here are more cards from Aunt Nell's box.  The one below was sent to her from my Uncle Otto and Aunt Mary. Uncle Otto was my great-uncle. He was my grandfather's brother. I love that I had an Uncle Otto. His name is a palindrome!  Palindromes are cool.

This afternoon I made a loaf of oatmeal bread. I'd post a picture, but my camera battery is having to re-charge. Trust me. It looks good and tastes wonderful, especially warm from the oven.

Today was The Boy's last day of school and he got home right before lunchtime.  So far he's reported making nothing but A's on his final exams.  He also came in 2nd place in the school spelling bee earlier this week, and 2nd place in the school book-fair. I posted a picture of him diligently working on that project here.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}


A decorated tree! Decorated mostly by The Boy this year. Maybe I'll have the mantel fixed up for next week's post.


Tasha Tudor's Christmas book,  Take Joy, makes me happy. It's opened up to one of my favorite carols, "Bring the Torch Jeanette, Isabella."  I love that carol so much that I used to tease The Professor that if we ever had a daughter we must name her "Jeanette Isabella."  


When I saw what The Boy had done to our Nativity, I had to laugh.

I immediately thought of  this verse:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Matthew 11:12


An old family recipe!
Aunt Laura's Cranberry Pudding  

I'm including this for shwell, who asked about the recipe in the comments from Leila's Plum Pudding Tutorial.
The Professor's Aunt Laura passed this down to her daughter-in-law, Cousin Ev, and she passed it on to her children and me.  My attempts at making this pudding have been rather pathetic. I think I always end up over cooking it. I am going to be making it again next week.

Aunt Laura's Cranberry Pudding
1 egg, beaten 
1 large T sugar
1/4 c. white syrup *note from me - I assume this is corn syrup*
1/4 c. molasses
1 c. cranberries cut in half
1/2 c. nut meats - cut  *we use pecans, coarsely chopped*
1 1/2 c. sifted bread flour *Cousin Ev says Aunt Laura actually used all-purpose flour, so that's what we use.*
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1/3 c. hot water - dissolve soda in water

Steam 1 1/2 hours. *Cousin Ev says she thinks it takes longer, but this is what the original recipe states.*
*Also, the original recipe stated that it should be put into a Hills Bro. coffee can and steamed. Ev uses a double boiler. This year I'm going to try Leila's plum pudding steaming method.*

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. cream *Aunt Laura used half and half, Cousin Ev uses milk, I have made this sauce with cream*
1 c. sugar
Boil 1/2 minute -add vanilla (no indication of how much vanilla to add - I use a tsp.)
Serve hot over pudding.
This sauce is so good, you will want to serve it hot over everything!

Capture more contentment over at LMLD today!
round button chicken

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real... Better Late Than Never?

Uh, I'm joining up with {phfr} at LMLD - a day late (and a dollar short, as the old folks say.)


I call this my "starter" icon corner.

Here's my icon corner. I think it's pretty. It's also a very peaceful spot in my home.  Am I the only Southern Baptist with an icon corner? Maybe so, but I don't care. I love my icons, and the saints that they depict, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses!


My Barton Method teaching manuals. 

Last week I started a new job! I started training to be a Barton method tutor at our little elementary school. I used to be a special education teacher, and I've been looking for something to do part time, and a friend at church told me about the tutoring program in our school district. Right now I'm just a substitute for when the regular tutors have to be out, and I've only worked one day, but I really enjoyed it. It's basically one-on-one tutoring for students who are showing symptoms of dyslexia, whether they actually have a diagnosis of it or not.  I think it's a great program and I'm hoping that next year something will work out so that I can be a regular tutor and not just a "substitutor."  It makes me so happy that I have this opportunity!


The Boy and I are taking a sick day today.  The Boy has a nasty cold and spent much of last night coughing, poor thing.  I've started working on a cold myself, which is not unusual, since whatever he comes down with, I eventually come down with it, too.  Fortunately, he's normally a very healthy young man.  Anyway, I know that having a cold is not funny, but we've been entertaining ourselves today by watching our favorite "Jeeves and Wooster" series from the BBC.  The Boy and I find these shows extremely funny...The Professor finds them we watch them when he's not around.  Hugh Laurie simply is Bertie Wooster. 

What, ho and tootle-pip!


The song says "It's the hap - happiest season of all..."

Well, I know it is a happy season, but I also know that my prayer list is full of those who may not be experiencing the "hap-happiest" feelings right now:

A friend from high school who just learned that the colon cancer she's been fighting has spread to her liver.

The family of a young man from a near-by town who was killed in a car accident earlier this week. He was a senior in high school.

The high school football coach in another near-by town who was shot and injured in his own back yard after his wife was shot and killed, evidently by the same intruders, also earlier this week. They have a three year old daughter. 

Matushka Anna, grieving over the loss of her unborn baby.

A neighbor whose husband died suddenly in August, having to spend her first Christmas in 40 years without him.

Real is the fact that it's NOT the "most wonderful time of the year" right now for many.  There is pain, and suffering, and loss.  I am at a loss as well. I wish I could do more. All I can do is lift them up in prayer and trust God to bring each one of them through these difficult circumstances.

round button chicken

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Wonderland?

Here's a picture I took from my front porch this morning:


And here's a picture of the holly bush in front of my house:

And, finally, one from the west side of the house:

This is the second snow we've had in the last week!  This is highly unusual for my part of the world. We don't usually get weather like this until January or February.

We aren't expecting much accumulation, even though it's not supposed to stop snowing until about noon. The Boy isn't even out of school today and The Professor is still giving his students their final exams at The College.

If this "snow every week" pattern keeps up, could we possibly have a White Christmas this year?  Hope springs eternal!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Greetings from 1963

A few months ago I received a box of documents that had belonged to my Great-Aunt Nell, one of my paternal grandmother's sisters.  I always think of Aunt Nell as the one who really held the family together. She was a school-teacher, but she also ran the family farm, along with her other unmarried sister, my Great-Aunt Will.  I could go on and on about Aunt Nell, who passed away when I was two, but has nevertheless had an influence in my life. Maybe another day...

Back to the point. I was hoping for family letters or other documents in this box I was given, but what the box contained was a collection of Christmas cards that Aunt Nell and Aunt Will received in 1963.  Sort of disappointing for me, but, the cards are so sweet.  Most of them are from friends whom I do not know,  some are from other family members, and a few include personal notes to Aunt Nell.

Is this not charming! The art reminds me of Tasha Tudor.

There is even one from my own mother and father.

 The card Mother sent that year. I miss her!
But here's the sweetest one. 

It's a simple postcard, with the address and stamp on the other side, not even an envelope.  I don't know who Gertrude and Laura Lynne were. I'll have to ask my father or his sisters, I guess. In my imagination they are either a mother and unmarried daughter or  two sisters in "reduced circumstances." The handwriting seems to be that of an older woman. Anyway, Gertrude made an effort to reach out to Aunt Nell, whose friendship she valued, in the best way she could.  I love it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Capturing the contentment of everyday life...


A pretty poinsettia. 


My Advent "wreath." OK - I know it's just four candles on a round tray, but I'm happy that I actually had purple and pink candles! No greenery, yet, but I love the purple silk fabric, although now I realize I should have fixed it so that it didn't look so lumpy in the picture. And I also just realized you can hardly see one of the purple candles - but it's there, peeking up from behind the pink one.  


I caught Bud, The Little Dog, in the middle of The Boy's bed, a definite "no-no" for him. Can you tell he's trying very hard to be so small I don't notice him and make him leave his nice warm spot? Nice try, Bud!


The Boy, working on his reading fair project before Thanksgiving. Note the "real" condition of my living room.

round button chicken