Monday, December 31, 2007

Picture wall

Here's your chance to vote! I want to use some of my many unused frames to create a picture wall in the dining area. It is harder than it seems... I've got two options so far. Am I on the right track? Which one would look better? Any suggestions?

Option A: Symetrical

Option B: Looser

Note: the long rectangular shapes (one in option A, two in option B) are 3-opening frames. The rest are all single opening frames (one large one, and the rest 5x7.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Through the eyes of a 19 month old

I just love this picture of Andrew reacting to the array of gifts at Benne and Grandpa's house, where we went on Christmas day. And in the background, you can see Julia wearing her new red dress.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A red dress with nothing on it

All month Julia has been saying, and asking Santa for, a "red dress with nothing on it." Lo and behold, Santa brought one! Here she is discovering it on Christmas morning. She has been wearing it pretty much ever since. Good job Santa!

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The difference between Jeff's photos and mine

Exhibit #1: Coffee cake

My photo:

Jeff's photo:

Exhibit #2: Reindeer cookies

My photo:

Jeff's photo:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A new cookie to surpass my best in show cookie

Well, I have to say it, it's true. My mother in law managed to outdo me in the Christmas cookie department. As you may recall from my previous blog entry, I won Best-in-show at the annual book club Christmas party for my white chocolate drizzled chocolate chip cookie last week. So saying she's outdone me is saying a lot. Take a look at these rudolph cookies.

I have to believe they would have beat mine if they had been in the competition. At least a win for best looking, if not for best in show. Can't beat these for holiday spirit!

They were easy to make, up until the last two frantic minutes after they come out of the oven and while we tried to get the eyes, nose and antlers in before the cookies cool off and harden up. Quite a challenge! But well worth the effort.

Merry Christmas!

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Preschool christmas performance (Video)

Watch the kids wish everybody a merry christmas! Julia is right in front in a striped dress.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Successful completion of Week 3: Couch to 5k

This morning (at a dark and chilly 6:15am) I completed my last run of Week 3. (I'm doing the 9 week Couch to 5k program, described previously here.) Only one day behind schedule. Not bad, considering. If I do my 3 runs of Week 4 by Sunday, I will be back on track. So far I've really been enjoying the runs, which have been pretty easy. I feel tempted to push it more than the program calls for, but have been resisting the urge. I'm trying to focus on building the habit of running 3 mornings a week, and trusting the program to train me to run slowly and gradually. So far so good.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Best in show cookie!

My cookies won BEST IN SHOW at the book club holiday party cookie exchange and contest! Couldn't believe it!!!!

The contest featured three highly competitive categories: best tasting, best looking, and best in show. I submitted a white chocolate drizzled chocolate chip cookie, shown here, and I WON! I didn't think I'd get a single vote, so it was quite a surprise. Perhaps they were impressed by my drizzle technique, or perhaps it is the pure fact that nothing beats a good chocolate chip cookie. And a little white chocolate drizzled on top sure can't hurt!

And the best part, other than our prize of two eco friendly re-usable shopping bags, is that I came home with a huge tin of assorted holiday cookies! The only thing is... who is going to help me eat them? Come on by if you're hungry!

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Decorating

The purchase of a new decoration for Christmas, the white snowman toward the right of this picture (see detail below), inspired me to decorate the mantle of our family room. I collected my white candles, and my one primarily-white Santa figurine, and added a fresh garland and some pinecones (from Big Bear). Here is the result. I like the way it turned out! It looks especially appealing at night when the candles and fireplace are going.
Here's the snowman up close. We got him at Ah Sam's, where we went with my Mom and Dad last weekend to show the kids the holiday decorations. He is holding a sign that says "Peace."

And this Santa figurine (a gift from Susan) fits in perfectly.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Andrew says: Camera!

Click the arrow to play this 5 second video.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas tree shopping

We went Christmas tree shopping this morning. Aren't we cheerful in our holiday red? This afternoon we're doing an impromptu holiday lights party with the neighbors. We'll all be out there decking out our houses and trees, and then retire to Amy & Dave's for pizza. I'll post the results tomorrow!
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Couch potato. That's what I've been lately. I truly think I've been more sedentary the past few months than any other time in my life. Perhaps not surprisingly, my weight is at a lifetime high (except while pregnant, obviously.) So, as the holidays approach and temptation abounds, I'm going to get out there and start running.

To keep me motivated, I've got quite a plan. First, I am following the Couch to 5k program as described on

Second, I am downloading the companion podcasts on iTunes (Called Podcasts for Running by Robert Ullrey.) This Robert fellow devised a podcast for each week of the program whereby you listen on your iPod while he "walks" you through the whole program so that you don't have to keep track of anything. (Ex: With running music in the background, he'll pipe in and say things like "okay, now it's time to pick up your speed for the next running segment, which will last 60 seconds. Go!")

Third, I've purchased the Nike+ system, which involves a little do dad in your shoe that talks to your iPod, which records all of your run data (time, speed, distance) and automatically uploads it to the Nike+ website when you synch your ipod. The website charts your runs so you can see your progress.

At the end of the day it still comes down to my motivation, but at least I'm arming myself with all of the new technology, tips and tricks they have to keep at it. Today I completed my 3rd run and week one of the program. Wish me luck!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been away from blogging for a bit, so no doubt I've lost my audience, but in case there are any of you out there still checking, here's a belated Happy Thanksgiving picture. We went to Big Bear this year and here are all the folks who joined us! Thanks to Susan and Paul for hosting a lovely gathering.

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