Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Project

Back in the early '90's I started making these little counted cross stitch stockings. Back then I hung them on the stairway going downstairs. Now that we have 5 more of them I wanted to more prominently display them. Last year I hung them on the white scarf on the mantle. They just didn't show up. I had an idea of putting them on a tree and the idea just grew. MM made a wire frame out of metal hangers and I just covered the frame with green christmas fabric and viola. A beautiful place to display our little family of stockings.

On Thanksgiving we decorated some little santa cookies I'd bought from Target. Peanut just wanted to eat them lol. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be... the frosting was a little too stiff, but because it was in little plastic bags that you just cut the tip off of it couldn't be fixed. We had fun though and that was the main idea. Didn't they turn out lovely?

There was a fourth cookie that used up the rest of the frosting.... it turned out black lol There wasn't any more white and when you put all the other colors together you get.... black lol.

Three generations of bakers :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

On the surface, sisters Meghann Dontess and Claire Cavenaugh couldn't be more different. Forty-two-year-old Meghann, a high-powered Seattle divorce lawyer, is known as the "Bitch of Belltown." She lives alone in an expensive high rise and counters loneliness with one-night stands. Younger sister Claire, in contrast, is surrounded by love --- from her doting father, her five-year-old daughter Alison and the group of women friends, the Bluesers, she has had since high school. Small town life in Hayden (45 minutes north of Seattle) and looking after her father's campground suit her right down to the tee. Her relationship with her older sister is fraught with tension and innuendo, so she's never really been in love --- that's life, right?

That is until Claire meets Mr. Right on her annual summer vacation with the Bluesers. Bobby Austin takes the stage during a band break. At thirty-five, Claire falls in love for the first time. Luckily for her, Bobby is equally smitten and, back in Hayden, they quickly make plans to marry.

Meanwhile, Meghann's stress level has been raised to an unbearable pitch. A client's enraged ex-husband tries to shoot her and Meghann's partner forces her to take a vacation. She visits Hayden, not really having any place else to go. When she can't talk Claire out of getting married, she impulsively offers to plan her sister's wedding. As the pages turn, we learn that Meghann and Claire weren't always so distant. Megan was actually more of a mother than an older sister to Claire, due to the shenanigans of their oft-married, stripper/actress mother.

Then there's the seemingly unconnected Joe, a melancholy drifter who eventually goes home to Hayden to face his sister Gina (one of the Bluesers) and his ghosts.

All kinds of sparks fly in the small town of Hayden, between Meghann and her sister Claire, as well as between Joe and Meghann. Gradually the sisters break down the barriers between them. We get to meet their kooky, flighty mother, Claire gets married and it looks like everything will work out fine. Finally, a medical crisis forces the family to confront the realities of love. If you've gotten this far without crying, it won't be long now.

Kristin Hannah is very good at what she does. Her use of detail, from drink choices to clothing brands, creates vivid portraits of the characters. Seattle area readers may especially enjoy recognizing the numerous place references. The pace of the story is mostly excellent, although Joe's re-entry into his real life after his mysterious trauma seems a little slow to me. A nice twist comes when Meghann's best friend turns out to be Birdie, a.k.a. Elizabeth Shore, from DISTANT SHORES, one of Ms. Hannah's previous novels. BETWEEN SISTERS is a well crafted read, one that will not disappoint the growing legions of Kristin Hannah fans.

Another really good read from Kristin Hannah. I found it a little difficult to read, turn pages and wipe my eyes. If you have a sister, especially if you've lived through a life threatening medical condition, you'll really relate to this book. My real life story didn't have a happy ending, but this one does. I miss you Janet. Keep the tissue handy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Wrap a Cat for Christmas

I found this on my nieces site and thought it was adorable!! Thanks Wendy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween Pictures

We have a tradition in our family - as new babies come along we get them in a pumpkin at Halloween time. We didn't get to see Punkin in October, but I saved a large pumpkin for when we did get to see her this past weekend. Isn't she a beautiful smily baby? Just love her.

This is Muffin in 2009

And here we have Peanut in 2007.

The two older girls wouldn't get in any pumpkin this year, but they posed behind it. We're still having a lot of difficulty getting them to look and smile at the same time lol.

There is not a doubt in my mind how Muffin got a bruise on her cheek.... She is such a climber and jumper. Always in motion.

While I was holding Punkin I thought we might be able to get the other two in a photo too. What a joke. Peanut might have cooperated, but Muffin is just too active at 19 months. She just laughs and runs lol

So there you have our weekend in a nutshell. I love spending time with all the girls. Just a barrel of fun and energy.