26 December 2013

Merry Christmas

It is officially the day after Christmas, but Christmas goes until January and I will continue to celebrate it that way. We are so blessed. We had a great day with the family on Christmas here at the house, but so many leftovers and it will be a long time before we will be finished. It will be good because there will be plenty to eat for awhile.

My husband and daughters gave me (not yarn), but chocolate and a pot that can heat water and keep it warm for awhile. Love it. We used it a lot on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. My sil and nephew gave my husband and I a Keurig. This is very kind and thoughtful of them. We had asked for a smaller, simpler version called a Hamilton, but she got this one for us. I have already made the tea and a cup of coffee with it. I need to go to a store and get a refillable so we can use our own coffee.

The reason we needed something new, is that my coffee maker (that I used to make hot water with more often than not) decided to die. It would filter, but the water was not getting hot. We had had it for a long time. We like coffee once in awhile, but don't drink enough to make a whole pot. We have different tastes to coffee and so he would make too strong and I would make too weak. But I love these gifts as they are very useful.

I am weird. I like useful gifts. Gifts that I will use, not just look at, but that will be used constantly. My husband got presents that he wanted as well as presents the girls wanted to give him. He also had his family at his house for a day. I got what I wanted....I didn't have to make a ton of food and transport it to and from others houses.

Hope that you all received what you wanted.

Did I mention that my children are wonderful? My girls didn't get a ton of gifts, again. They get a few well chosen gifts and they love that. They have played with their gifts all day. That is good. The rest of their presents are going to be here and there over the next couple of weeks...clothes.

18 December 2013

Ohio Senate Bill 248

Yesterday, I was made aware that there is a horrendous bill in the Senate, proposed by Senator Capri Cafaro. This bill suggests that homeschooling or e-schooling parents need to be investigated by Social Services before they can homeschool or e-school their children.

This is an invasion of privacy and decency. I am attaching links to various things that I feel any homeschooling or e-schooling parent should read. Please, please read these and take action!

The first that you should see is the bill itself:
OH SB 248
You can read for yourself the language that states we need to be investigated.

The second is a petition:
Petition to OH Senate Please sign and share.

The Why this came about:
teddyslaw.org I get that the father and grandfather are heartbroken at the loss of their son/grandson, but this law is not going to protect children already being abused, it is going to swamp an already overloaded system that is failing the children they are supposed to protect. This child was already known in the system. His mother and her boyfriend had been reported. Police had been called, yet this child was still in the home with them.

Blog about the HSLDA being worst law ever
Blog treating homeschooling parents like felony child abusers

How to contact your senator:
Ohio Senators and their Regions
Please call, write and email them.

Edited on Saturday, December 21, 2013

Senator Cafaro sent a letter to the Senate President and requested that the bill be pulled for now. Meaning this can come back at some point, but will not be looked at now. Please keep watching and be prepared to begin the fight against this bill again.

16 December 2013

My Email Overflows

I signed up for free patterns to be sent to my email. Free patterns for knitting, for crochet, for many things. I love getting them in my email because then I can see all the new and fun things to make. My problem is that I cannot organize them in the email, so I organize them two ways....1. I put them on here and make a note that they are here. 2. I put them in my Ravelry queue.

So here are some more links from the email. Enjoy!

Always Pointing North aka Compass Rose Afghan

Universal Slouchy Hat
Which Stitch Hat
Sundance Slouch Hat

Holiday Decorations: I said Holiday rather than Christmas, because Thanksgiving is a Holiday, too.
Reindeer Ornament
Winter Wonderland Ornaments
Christmas Bell
Granny Square Ornament
Roses in the Snow
Crochet Snow Swirls
Little Stocking Ornaments
Snowman Candy Holder
Roses In Snow Ornament
3D Wild Rose Snowflake
Crochet Reindeer Ornament
Icicle Angels
Colorful Christmas Elf

Flower Dishcloth
Sunshine Dishcloth by the Crochet Dude

Links for 22 Easy Crochet projects 
Links for Knit dish cloths
Links to Elf on a Shelf to make
Links to Striped Knit or Crochet patterns

Prism Shawl
Angel Wings
Alyssa's Shawl
Waltzing Fans Shawl
Gradient Color Shawl
Mitered Corner Shawl

Cobblestone Road Socks
Soccasins These are really cute.

European Goddess Tunic
Cozy Cocoon Cardigan

Freddy Froggy
Bella Butterfly

14 December 2013

More from the FB files of patterns

Moogly Links for Men's Beanies
Moogly Crochet Angels
Christmas Elf
Starting Chain 10 Craft Ideas for Christmas
Moogly Hand Made Crochet Ornaments
Little Christmas Socks This may have been posted before, but it is so cute and is more of a tutorial.
Crocheted iPhone Cozy
Moogly Crochet Christmas Tree
Flower Girl Easy Crochet Snowflake
Moogly Star Light Star Bright this is by a guest blogger
Cabled Heart Hat from Red Heart
Moogly Crochet Garlands
May Flowers and Hot Pad Set
Flower Pattern
Moogly Link to Crochet Socks
Moogly Link to Crochet Mittens
Fabulously Festive Christmas Stockings
Moogly Links to Fast Gifts

More Recipes from the FB File

My FB is again filling up with recipes and patterns. On the patterns, I can always link to the creator, but on the recipes that is not always possible. Since I do want to make them and find that FB is not the best place for keeping the recipes, I place them on my blog. It has helped because, I have had friends ask, if I can find a certain pattern and I share a link and they are happy. If you know who is the "owner/creator" of a recipe, please share with me so that I can give them appropriate credit or change the recipe to a link. Thank you.

Easy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Polar Express Hot Cocoa
Panda Cupcakes
Pistachio Pudding Dessert
Snickers Fudge
Christmas Chocolate Ripple Cake
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Freezer Pie
Honey Candy
White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Gingerbread Clay Ornament
Peanut Butter Oreo Cookie Balls

Homemade Peppermint Patties
By Michelle on August 24th, 2013

If you love those melt in your mouth, Peppermint Patties, this is a MUST try!
Serves: Makes about 8 dozen.
1 pound confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
4 ounces, cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Using a mixer, gradually add the sugar to the cream cheese, beat well until incorporated.
2. Add peppermint extract and combine well.
3. Roll dough into teaspoon size balls and place on baking sheet(s) lined with wax paper or parchment. Create a small “bowl” or indention in each ball using a ¼ teaspoon or your finger. Cover with plastic wrap and let firm up in refrigerator for a few hours.
4. When peppermints have firmed, melt chocolate according to package directions (microwave is fine). Fill a piping bag or freezer bag with the corner snipped with the melted chocolate. Fill each mini peppermint bowl/indention with chocolate and let cool.
5. Refrigerate in airtight container until ready to serve.
Helpful Tips:
When making the cream cheese/powdered sugar mixture, gradually add the powdered sugar until the right texture is achieved. You may end up needing to add a bit more than listed in the recipe, or less. It should hold together, but not sticky.
If working by yourself, only make a few balls at a time before pressing the bowls/indention’s to avoid them drying and cracking. The best thing is to work with someone else and have one person roll the balls, while the other follows behind making the bowls/indentations.
Be sure to keep main peppermint mixture lightly covered with plastic or a damp paper towel while making the balls to avoid it drying out.

Elvis Presley Cake: (Jail House Rock)

 White cake mix
8oz can crushed pineapple
1 c. sugar
8oz pkg Cream Cheese...
1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 c crushed pecans

Bake a white cake, cool and poke holes in it. Boil crushed pineapple with juice and 1cup of sugar then pour over cool cake. In large bowl mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar. Add vanilla and crushed pecans, mix good and put on cake.

Crockpot Candy ~

32 oz dry roasted peanuts (I think I'm going to try almonds!)
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
4 oz German sweet chocolate
32 oz white chocolate candy melts...

Place ingredients in a crockpot as listed. Do not stir. Cook on low for 1 1/2 -2 hours - do not open the lid! After cooked, stir and drop by spoonfuls on a parchment paper or silpat lined pan. Allow to harden and store in a closed container


No Bake Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1-18 oz. jar of smooth or chunky peanut butter
1 - 16 oz. bag of confectioners sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted...
chocolate almond bark
chocolate candy melts
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips & 2 tsp. shortening

In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, confectioners sugar and melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. For the next step, the best way that I've found to make a smooth filling is to use your hands to mix everything together.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Roll the peanut butter filling into 1 inch balls and line the baking sheet with rows of the balls. Set the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-7 minutes to chill the peanut butter balls for easier dipping.

While the peanut butter balls are chilling, melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl that is deep enough for dipping. I melted 6 blocks of chocolate almond bark at a time, stirring at 45 second intervals until smooth.

Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into a peanut butter ball and then dip it into the chocolate, turning quickly to cover the entire candy. Place onto a second baking tray that has also been lined with foil. Swirl the chocolate on the top of each candy for a pretty design. Refrigerate until the chocolate had completely dried.

Store the candies in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Microwave Fudge
 1 lb box Confectioners sugar
2 T butter
1/3 C milk
1 C peanut butter

Place sugar, butter and milk in a large mixing bowl. Cook in the microwave 2 minutes on high. Take out, beat ingredients with hand mixer until combined. Microwave 30 seconds more, then add peanut butter and mix by hand or mixer until combined. Spread in foil lined 8x8 pan. Let cool then cut and ENJOY!!

2 cans (20 oz. each) DOLE crushed pineapple
2 tbsp. lemon juice...
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/3 cup sugar ( i Used Stevia)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

How to make it
Drain pineapple: reserve 2 tbsp. juice.
Set aside.
Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and reserved pineapple juice in blender.
Cover and blend until smooth.
Pour into two 1-quart freezer zipped bags.
Store bags flat in freezer.
Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until slushy.
Stir pineapple slush gently into whipped cream until slightly blended in large bowl. Return to freezer until completely frozen, about 1 hour and serve.

Homemade Krispy Kremes — Yes, this is the actual recipe!

3 tbsp milk...
3 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp dry active yeast
8 oz all purpose flour (a little under 2 cups - I recommend you measure and weigh. See my note above)
1 1/2 oz sugar (about 3 tablespoons)
1 egg
1 oz butter, cold to room temperature (just don't melt it, okay?)
dash of salt

Enough oil to cover the bottom few inches of a wok, or a deep fryer.

In a large measuring jug, combine the milk and boiling water. Add a teaspoon of the sugar and the yeast. Stir it gently, then leave it in a warm place for the yeast to activate (aka foam).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, the rest of the sugar, and the salt. Cut in the butter using your fingers or a pastry blender, until it resembles crumbs.
Add the egg (give it a quick beat) and yeast mixture to the flour mix, and mix into a smooth dough. This usually takes about 5 minutes of mixing.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured counter and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes—it should feel springy and little bubbles should form under the surface. Place it back in the bowl, cover with a cloth or plastic wrap, and let rise for about an hour until double in size.
Once risen, place the dough onto the counter and cut it into 4 pieces. One piece at a time, stretch it into a long rope about an inch to an inch and a half wide. Cut strips about an inch long, ball em up with your hands, and place them on a baking tray or wire rack to wait.
Cover the doughnuts holes with a cloth to rise while you heat the oil to 375F.(190 c)
Place the doughnuts into the oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes. Be sure to fry only a few at a time so they don’t overcrowd and stick together.
Drain on a paper towel or wire rack over a cloth, before glazing them. Be sure to glaze them warm, or else they won’t get that delicious coverage!

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

A brief note: I recommend a scale, as not all flours (and cup measurements) are made equal.
2 cups of my Canadian flour in my Canadian cups on my scale might be more or less than yours.
If you don't have a scale, start at 1 1/2 cups and work your way up from there.

Recipe via "Now You're Cook'in"

Poor Customer Service

Recently, my husband and I took our daughters to Bass Pro Shops to see their Santa. The reason I like their Santa, is that he looks real (very important) and he is always out and waiting for the children. I can carry my own camera and take my own picture (that I can use on my FB page or in my blog or to make cards....when I go early enough).

But I am kind of behind on my cards and I didn't have time to get photos printed, so when I saw their deal for some "greeting photo cards" for $20, I thought that would work. I could send some of the family this photo. Little did I know, this "package" comes without envelopes! When I questioned this, the guys working that stand are, we never give envelopes. They go to get a "supervisor," who tells me to deal with it!

I can guarantee, I will not travel to their store again! I will not purchase anything from them! I will advise anyone to not buy their "photo with Santa packages."

For the record, when speaking with the "supervisor," I pointed out to him that this is a social world. That I would be posting this problem. His reaction was, "So what!"

10 December 2013

A School Work Assignment

My oldest has to write a descriptive essay about her home town. In order to help her understand the project, I felt that I would write a descriptive essay on my hometown, which is Lebanon, OH (same as hers).

My husband and I moved our family to Lebanon, OH 9 years ago. We moved to be closer to his job and so we could see more of him. We chose Lebanon because it has a very small town feel to it. It has a downtown area, that has stayed true to the area. It was founded by settlers in the 1700's. We have 2 cemeteries. The first is called Pioneer Cemetery. The people buried in this cemetery are the Pioneers who founded Lebanon, OH and started building the different buildings. The 2nd cemetery is newer and is still in use today. My girls and I often drive through the cemetery looking at the stones and we have walked through the Pioneer Cemetery looking at all the ages on the stones. It is well maintained.

We have a library that is from the 1900's, it turned 108, on January 2nd. It was one that has grown over the years. It has a little park to the side where you can sit and have a lunch. Sit and read a book or just people watch. Our library has books mostly. It just recently started (since we have moved here) getting books on playaways (mp3s) or CDs. They do not lend movies or music. I take the girls to the library about weekly. It is a good place to spend some time looking at the books and finding something good to read.

We also have The Golden Lamb Inn and Restaurant. It was built in 1803 and is listed as the oldest hotel in Ohio. Many presidents and VIPs have been known to stay at the Golden Lamb over it's many years of existence. It is a gorgeous building, full of history. You can visit the upper floors looking in rooms (that are open only). Some of the rooms are filled with tourists who are visiting and wanting to stay in the hotel. Beside the Golden Lamb is a little park with a Gazebo and bricks that tell stories. My favorite are the bricks asking someone to marry another.

Across the street from the library is Christmas Tree Park. It has a fountain, turned off in winter, but with lights to make it festive and a live Christmas tree, decorated at Christmas time with decorations created by the local school 4th graders. The mayor of our fair town is also the 3rd and 4th grade art teacher, Amy Brewer (she is a gem).

Lebanon has many businesses along the main thoroughfare. You can get ice cream from the Village Ice Cream Parlor. You can get frozen custard from Whit's Frozen Custard (closes are the Horse and Carriage Parade for the season). Lebanon hosts many festivals, and has the most popular, "Annual Horse and Carriage Parade" for Christmas. Horses decked out in Christmas finery pulling carriages with people dressed in costumes or Christmas finery. It is a lot of fun every year.

Next to the subdivision my family and I live in, is a park called Miller Ecological Park. A great place to walk or run or even take your dog for a walk or run. No motor vehicles allowed in the park. There is parking, but that is where the vehicles are to stop. They have put some areas in that can be exercise areas and some areas where kids can explore and play.

If you ever have a moment to stop in, come around my home town. It is a great place to spend the day.

01 December 2013

Girls Back Online

My girls are going to be back to writing their blog. They really need the practice and they love to be on the computer. So here is a link to the Girls Blog. They are 11, 10, 9 years old and so they write with varying degrees of understandability. Please take a moment to comment if you are reading their work. They need positive feedback, so that they can improve and actually enjoy writing. At this point they do not enjoy writing and I have a battle on my hands. Thanks.