Saturday, December 6, 2008

st. nicholas day

thank you st. nicholas for 3 new stories to add to our collection. we will be snuggling and reading these this morning!

happy feast of st. nicholas

don't eat too many chocolate coins today

like we already have.

i don't know if we'll even be able to sit still for

all of our new stories and a movie too!

Friday, December 5, 2008

the little boy hat

"i wanted a blue and camo one."

"it's itchy."

"can i take it off now?"

i guess we need to work on a spirit of gratitude.


i got to work on the little boy hat yesterday since we visited so many cozy places where i could just sit and crochet. at the end of the day i was so tired, but i had to finish it. i can't believe i actually let the kids take such terrible pictures of me........ugghhhh how the years and pounds show on film in a way that the deceptive bathroom mirror seems content to hide from my eyes. but then after a few moments like this

and a good game of checkers

it is easy to forget about all that nonsense and find contentment in the things that ARE instead of the things that just aren't and never will be anymore.


one of our stops yesterday was to some dear little friends we have known since my oldest son was just a baby. i met mrs. m. while working a birth choice where i volunteered as a crisis pregnancy counselor to women and girls who were pregnant and sometimes considering abortion. having had my own crisis pregnancy when i was 17 i brought that experience with me, hoping to intervene, if necessary, for the tiny lives that were often discovered in my very presence via a home-pregnancy test in a small office.

of course mrs. m became fast friends with my mother because they are both artists and share a passion for painting, as well as their love for the unborn. and any friend of my mother (who is my very best friend) is a friend of mine.

so mrs. m., who is quiet and sweet, loves to paint (and will give me knitting lessons on our next visit-if i remember my needles!) and mr. m., who was a soldier in WWII is filled with stories and much Irish wit and wisdom.

and while we don't often get to see these lovely people, we always enjoy our time with them.

at first glance, we are the ones giving of our time and talent this day, sharing art work, photography and a handmade Christmas ornament from the creative hands of my daughter, but after a few hours there, it was obvious that they were the ones that gave to us. these gentle souls have lived and loved longer than we can imagine and we are so blessed to have been invited to share some good laughs and conversation on what otherwise seemed to be a cold and gloomy day. i am so glad that we took the time to stop by.

blooming tea

yesterday, during a visit with my facilitator, mrs. e,
who through the years has become a trusted friend,
she offered me a cup of tea and it had to be the most fascinating
cup of tea i have ever had. it is a flowering tea that blooms
when it is added to hot water. we had so much fun with our cups of tea,
waiting for the flowers to bloom and then watching them gracefully float around the cup,
smelling the sweet aroma of jasmine mixed with green tea and finally tasting the warm blend and all of this in such good company! i love this woman, she is such a dear.
i enjoy my visits to her home and look forward to seeing her again on tuesday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

jesse tree pillow top

it is sew nice to have a project handy for the cold and gloomy school days.
this jesse tree pillow top idea was hatched out of the pages of my missal on Sunday at Mass.
i loved the intricate look of the root and the beauty of the verse from Isaiah and since i don't have my jesse tree out this year, but still wanted something reminiscent of it, here is my no fuss jesse tree. if my fingers don't fall of the pillows will be done by Saturday. the fabric for the covers is a vintage berry fabric i found at my favorite thrift store.

i also found some black dotted swiss, which i have had such a hard time finding.
this fabric is so pretty, but this picture does not do it proper justice.

some yarn for a "boy" hat

a little crochet book and some vintage trimmings

please take a little inspiration from this post and make a little something today.
you will be sew glad you did!

blurs and stills

do you ever feel like the simply beautiful moments in your life
sometimes happen so fast that you couldn't even catch them if you tried?
yesterday held many beautiful moments for me.
here are a few things that wouldn't stand still ..............

and here are a few things that did.............

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


my mom bought the kids this cd a few years ago and it has such beautiful music. you can read about the group here, they have a great story. you can also buy the cd here.

mexican wedding crescent cookies

In honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe we will be making Mexican Wedding Crescent Cookies.
This recipe,from Kraft Food & Family Magazine, is the best recipe I have found so far.
I like to recommend recipes that I've already used so I don't set you up to fail!
In our home feast days mean FOOD, so eat up!

Mexican Wedding Crescent Cookies
Adding Philly Cream Cheese makes this versatile dough super-easy to work with.

Prep: 20 min. Total 1 hr. 40 min.[incl. refrigerating]

1 pkg.[8 oz.] of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. [1 1/2 sticks] butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. finely chopped nuts of choice [ I use walnuts]

PREHEAT oven to 325. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add nuts and mix with a spatula. Then add flour and baking soda; mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

SHAPE tablespoonfuls of dough into crescent shapes; place, 1 inch apart, on ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE 20 min. Cool on baking sheet 1 min. Remove to wire rack; cool 15 min.

DIP each cookie into powdered sugar. OPTIONAL: drizzle with 2 squares melted Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate.

Makes 4 doz. or 24 servings, 2 cookies each.

If you haven't already, visit for some great recipes. I don't use a lot of kraft food products, but I do what I can to make things from scratch using their ideas.


In our house, Guadalupe (as my littlest son calls her) is BIG. And I mean it. We have a statue the size of a four-year-old child in our hallway, right next to our holy table of Guadalupe. And since our recent break-in we have had some issues with the little ones being scared at night, wanting to sleep in our room, bed, etc. but we are a musical beds sort of family anyway and so this doesn't bother us, however, the other night littlest son said, "don't be scared of the stealers mama (not the football team, but the people who broke into our house) because Guadalupe has spikes and she'll protect us."
And so it is with Guadalupe, she seems to always be there, watching and waiting.
I know that when I was a little bit worried about the bedroom placement in this house, my husband said the same thing to me, Guadalupe is there, she will watch over us.
And then I recall when my grandfather was dying, he was confined to a hospital bed in his bedroom and when I'd go and visit him we'd talk about the good old days and he'd tell me about the processions they'd had at the church up the street from where they lived for her feast and how much he'd enjoyed them, which prompted me to consult her for a very important mission. at this point he and my grandmother had been away from the church for 20+ years and I had a nagging feeling that I needed to do something for this man who I loved so dearly. A man who was so close to dying and desperately needed the sacraments. So what did I do? I went to her. I went to my heavenly mother and I entrusted my plan into her hands and ultimately she worked her wonders through the power given her by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
My grandmother belonged to a church which just so happened to have a pastor-in-transition issue during the very last weeks of my grandfather's life, there were vacations to be had and office issues to be dealt with, so I took it upon myself to call the very same Catholic Church they used to attend years ago and the little aged priest, Fr. Fitzwilliam, God rest his soul, was available to come and "visit" with my grandfather. Well, after a few visits, he had a last confession and HOLY VIATICUM for his journey. I believe he received Holy Communion at least twice before he died and all to the dismay of all of the fallen away members of my family (my parents and myself excluded).
So my conclusion to this little story is this: don't ever underestimate a mother's love, because at the end of a very long life, my grandfather, who died on his 91st birthday, did so with the grace and dignity of a child of God. The mother who promised Juan Diego, "do not be afraid, I am here, I am your mother" was faithful to me in the very same way. For this very simple request I made of her, if you look at it in human terms, seemed impossible: he had been away from the Church too long, the family was furious about my interference, my grandmother would never allow it and so on and so forth, but as we all know, with GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.
And besides, I don't mind having a little faith in someone clothed with the sun, because she must be really important in God's eyes.
After all, He trusted her with HIS Son!

wilbur lives next door

our neighbors just got 4 baby pigs and they are sooooo cute.
we love to go outside and watch them run around and play.
this one likes to dig in the dirt and we laugh because he gets the dirtiest little face!

their barn is not quite as big as the zuckermans' but we imagine that there are most definitely some spiders living in it who just might be able to spin some pretty magnificent webs!
littlest son thinks possibly even spiderman lives there? go figure!

fresh air

so st. andrew prompted me to go on a walk last night.
i am never enthusiastic about exercise, i am just too tired most of the time
and if i have a few spare minutes the last thing i want to do is break out in a sweat!
but nevertheless, i had started dinner early and so i as actually able to listen to the the cool evening air as it beckoned me to go outside. and of course even at the sound of the word "walk"
3 out of my 4 kids had their jackets on in a flash. of course there was an issue with
the wagon being filled with a little left over rainwater and mud, it had to be cleaned
out and we couldn't find a rag, you know how it goes, something that should be so simple turns into such an ordeal. but we finally went on our way and were treated to a beautiful winter-y sunset, a glimpse at the man in the moon and we stayed out so long that it started to get dark. we had such a great time that i promised we'd go again tonight. thank you st. andrew for your if i could just make it out to the barn and get on the exercise bike.........but then there is that issue with sweat, ugghhhh!