Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas and the Aftermath

We stayed home this Christmas and my folks drove up for the holidays. Christmas morning was at my sister's house and the house was full. Wendy and her family, the folks and us with everyone including the grandkids. Luke was also able to stop by for a short time before he had to work. The kids opened first and as you can see in the photo above, Ez was happy to help his Grandpa (Rocketman) with his presents.
The folks stayed until Friday and as soon as they left we got Noah and Ez for the weekend to give their Mom and Dad a little break.
As you can see, Ez loves his Grandpa. We were going to go to an indoor play center that I had found on the Internet but Ez woke up Saturday morning with a fever over 103. We stayed in that day and fed him Tylenol every four hours. 
Sunday, Ez awoke with no fever so we went off to Monkey House in Maplewood, MN. It's an indoor park for kids. The kids were so excited. It was only open from 10-12.  We got there shortly after 10 and there was only one other family there at the time. But by 11 it was pretty packed. We left around 11:45 am.

 It was so touching to see Noah helping out Ezra. He did this all on his own and it truly moved me to see the love he has for his little brother.

Ezra was constantly in motion and constantly talking. It is amazing all the words he knows. One of the favorite things he did was when you ask him a yes or no question, he always answered, "of course."
We dropped them off on Monday just before the snow began to fall. We stopped by the Mall of America to return something and to eat lunch. The drive home in the light snow was a little treacherous and we even saw a pretty nasty accident that blocked a lane of traffic in the opposite direction.

The rest of December was spent relaxing, getting corporate taxes going (Rocketman) and catching up on some bojagi (Becky). I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions because I've always felt why set yourself up for failure but I am ready to do a big one for me and stick to it. I am giving up soda (Pepsi). It has been in my diet on a daily basis since I was 16 and it's not good for me.

Also, for the first time, I'm going to choose a single word for my 2014 mantra. It's SOAR.

The definition of soar:

soar  (sôr, sr)
intr.v. soared, soar·ing, soars
1. To rise, fly, or glide high and with little apparent effort.
What one word would you choose for 2014?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cookie Extravaganza!

I spent the last week cooking and baking bars and cookies for family and friends. It's something I started a few years ago and it was so well received I have continued it. I'm always on the hunt for cookie platters and found a bunch at my local dollar store. I made a large variety of things over the week and luckily, living in Minnesota, I just put everything in plastic containers and then into the garage to keep things cool.

Cookie tray assembly day turned out to be Wednesday because Rocketman was taking a tray for his work potluck. It went over big and he received a lot of compliments. The hardest part of the whole thing is getting everything to fit on each tray. I go around my kitchen table hundreds of times with each cookie/bar until all the containers are empty and the trays are filled.
Here is a photo of how they ended up this year. I then wrap them in plastic wrap and place them into a plastic Target bag with a post-it note of who it is for.  This year I did ten trays. It seems to grown a little each year.
I was also glad to see that our neighbor put out their baby Jesus. He had been missing since they put up the display around Thanksgiving. You see a lot of missing baby Jesuses around here because it was a popular thing to steal a few years ago. How is that for holiday "be of good cheer"?
I was out of kimchi (oh no!!) and was pretty worn out from all the cooking that I convinced Rocketman to take me to Kim's to get some kimchi and then Mirror of Korea for dinner. It really hit the spot and the food was delicious.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ikebana Class

Last Saturday I had an ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) class at my ikebana teacher's house. I hadn't been to her house for class since we went to Korea in 2011. She had done a big remodel and added a room with Japanese style window coverings. They reminded me so much of Korea and I want to be able to incorporate some type of Korean hanok style in our next home, if we ever move:)

She also had this beautiful ikebana in her entryway that she had made recently. It was breathtaking. The vase she bought in Japan.

Now the work began.  We used burning bush branches for the first time and they were really difficult to work with. The wood is very hard so it made trimming the branch challenging.
Next came the assistant branches. There was a green assistant branch for each burning bush branch. It was a type of holly.

 Class lasted 3 hours which was about an hour longer than usual but we had a blast and went home with some wonderful arrangements. 

                                   This one is mine. I bought the bowl at Target years ago.

My teacher lived in Japan for eight years and her house is as Japanese as mine is Korean. She took us upstairs to show us another ikebana she had made. It was the largest I had seen to date. It was so beautiful.

I'm busy this week making cookies and bars. Rocketman has a work luncheon on Thursday and he signed up to bring a dessert. I am sending one of my cookie assortment trays with him which makes Wednesday the deadline.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Constant Knitting and Making Christmas Cookies

I had two baby blankets I wanted to complete as soon as possible. We have grandbaby #3 coming the first of March and our Korean friend, Jennifer, is due with her first in February. This has kept me very busy along with Christmas shopping.
I saw this Churchmouse pattern for their "Jolly Wee Elf" and just had to order the kit. I'm not the best knitter and the pattern had a few techniques I had never done before like W&T but I did it and thought it turned out splendidly. I showed it to Rocketman and he said, "Where's the face?" Huh? He wasn't quite as in love with it as I am but that's ok, he doesn't have to love everything I make.
I've also started making my annual Christmas cookies. I make about 6-10 different kinds and then give plates of cookies to all the relatives. I really enjoy doing it but I don't like all the dishes I have to do. This is my sink today. Tomorrow I have another ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) and I can't wait to see what I make.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sumi-e Class with Susan Frame

On Friday, I spent the entire day at the White Bear Center for the Arts at a sumi-e class taught by Susan Frame. I had thought my days of sumi-e classes was over when my teacher, Karen Jensen, moved to Iowa. I was so happy to see a class with Susan. We had a pretty large class with 13 of us. But Susan handled it beautifully.
The day was spent with demos by Susan and then lots of practice by us. These are all samples of Susan's demos. She also took the time to come around and help each of us numerous times.
                                                                          The time flew by.

                                             She also brought several completed paintings.

Here is the Master at work.
                  As if that wasn't enough, Susan made each of us a little painting to take home.
     Now, I haven't painted for at least a year so I was pretty rusty but here are some of my paintings.

Susan said she will probably be teaching a class again at the Center in the Spring. If you can't wait that long, she does teach in her studio in Northeast Minneapolis. I highly recommend classes from her. She is truly a treasure and a joy to learn from.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Louie, Our Three Legged Cat

Louie is one crazy cat. I have a beautiful wrap I had knit for myself but Louie felt it was HIS blankie. Everywhere I put it, Louie would climb onto it and precede to purr up a storm. No matter where I would set it, Louie would find a way to climb onto it. Finally I thought I the perfect place in this basket under one of my end tables. But Louie has found my hiding spot and his blankie. I gave up and Louie now has a very nice blankie to lay on:)
                As you can see, he was also very helpful when it was time to decorate for Christmas.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...