Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Greetings 2008

Merry Christmas!



Here's the card, greetings, and picture:



Christmas Card 2008

Our highlights of 2008:

- Megan & Mattey starting piano lessons.

- Spring Break trip to Great Wolf’s Lodge.

- Our 10-day trip to Virginia & D.C.

- Picking strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, & pumpkins.

- Mickey getting an A+ in two classes.

- Kade starting pre-school.  (This is good for Kelly too.)

- Mat & Meg playing soccer & all the kids playing tennis.

- Mickey having knee surgery & being up the next day.

- Kelly making & selling purses.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Love,

The Standifords



Christmas-2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Teacher Gifts

In early November I was trying to get some Christmas shopping done.  Since I was out I thought I'd just pick up one of those lotion/bath sets for all the kids' teachers.  Easy.  Done.  Then I got home and it started bugging me that the gifts weren't very personal.  There was little to no thought put into it.  I grabbed the ones that smelled the best.  By the way, some of them should NOT be on the market.  I pondered on the idea of what I should do for a while and came up with, what I think, is a winner.  Of course it meant me putting in hours of labor, but it was for a good cause.  I made each teacher, there's 8, a set of eight cards.  I packaged them up with envelopes.  I suppose it would have been nice to include postage too but that's getting a little carried away.



In the last two-ish months I have made about 100 cards.  Here they are:

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Here's the set I made:  (yes, some of them you may have seen already)

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The girls took their gifts in today since it's their last day of school this year.  They brought back thank you cards already.  They have done very little work this week since it's the end of the semester. Kade may not get to take his in tomorrow since we are supposed to get a major winter storm with rain, ice, and snow.  Sounds fun. If he doens't have school the gifts will just have to wait until next year.  It's not like the cards will go bad.



Here's the little gift tag I "had" to make to go with each set.  Darling, isn't it?



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Family Photo Bloopers

We did our family photo shoot on Saturday.  We ended up with a decent one for the card, which will be posted later.  I had to share some of the bloopers.

Where's Kade going?



Where's Kade going?





Missing a kid

Missing a kid.





Getting ready to pose

Getting ready to pose.





Too early

Too early.



There was no funny face picture this year.  Does that mean everyone is maturing?  Hmm...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dove Promises

I opened a bag of Dove chocolate the other day.  Besides finding some good chocolate I found some good words of wisdom.



"Do all things with love."  That's why my food always tastes good.



"Count your blessings not your worries."  I'm trying, hard.



"Put your feet up and unwind."  I'll do that in a few days or tonight when I'm exhausted from Christmas prep.



"Bring your life to life: stop planning, start doing."  I think I've already started that - kellaford.



"Happiness is the experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."  Is that possible to do?  Really every minute?



"Don't judge others or yourself."  Okay, I won't judge myself when I eat another chocolate.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Best Ever Roll Out Cookies


Several years ago a family lived here and went to our church.  He was a medical resident at a local hospital.  As things go in our church people come and go, regularly.  Before they moved away I had been to their house for a choral group practice.  It was around Halloween.  They had a really yummy tradition.  They had a wire "tree" by their front door and for every holiday/season they made roll out cookies to go with whatever was being celebrated.  They placed them in sandwich bags and hung them on the tree to give out to people that came over.  I love that idea but I think I would just eat them all and there would be nothing to share.  A few years ago I needed a good recipe for roll outs.  I tried a few and none of them compared to the ones that family made.  Now I only had the one cookie.  It really stayed with me.  It's that good!  I had mentioned it to a friend who was here when that family was here and she thought someone else we knew had the recipe.  She had just moved to Utah.  Let me just say it was SO worth the long distance phone call to get the recipe.

Roll Out Cookie

I've decided to share the recipe so everyone can enjoy it.  I was just asked by a preschool mom for the recipe.  She had a pumpkin shaped one I made for Kade's Thanksgiving feast.  I usually make a double batch because if I'm going to make them I have to make a lot.  Sometimes I do a triple batch.

Roll Out Cookies

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix the shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Roll out to about 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters.  Bake at 400ยบ for 6-8 minutes.  Cool completely and frost/decorate.

Some tips:

Keep an eye on the cookies.  Pull them out of the oven before or right as they are turning golden.  You want a white cookie.  They are soft.  Soft is good.

I also bake mine on a stone so if you have one I recommend it.  I do have to bake it longer the first time around, about 8-9 minutes.

I only use Duncan Hynes' Homestyle Vanilla Frosting.  It's the best.

If you have a hard cookie it does soften when it's been frosted and has sat for a while.

Sometimes I make the dough at night and don't get around to rolling the dough until some time the next day.  Sometimes I'll only make what I need from the dough and leave the rest in the refrigerater until I'm ready to make more.  Or until I'm craving them.

They are sweet enough to eat without frosting if you're watching your fat intake.

Enjoy!

Two More Projects

I love this little hat pattern.  (I altered it a little, adding ribbon and leaving off the flowers.)  I had to make it for a little cutie named Lily and maybe her cousin will get the second one.  I found a great new yarn at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago when I went for another reason.  Isn't that when you find the good stuff?  When you're not looking for it.  The yarn is Naturally Caron Country.  This is my first time using wool.  It's a great blend, only 25% merino and not the least bit itchy.  It has a great hand and beautiful stitch definition.  The best part is it's machine washable.  I doubled the yarn to use the bigger needle called for in the pattern.

Knitted Baby Hats



I just got my order for some Naturally Caron Spa which is a bamboo blend.  I have a sweater pattern all picked out.  Now I just need to make the time, meaning I'll need to find some movies and TV shows to watch.



Today I sold my second bag!  A coworker/employee of the first buyer had to have one.  She ordered back in October knowing she wouldn't get it for a long time.  She wanted one for her 70 year old mother who's a little funky.  Shopping for someone I don't know was a little bit of a challenge but I nailed it with my first choice of fabrics, also found at Hobby Lobby.  Here's the finished product.



Argyle Bucket



Inside Argyle Bucket



Arglye Detail



Mickey really liked the way this turned out.  I don't think I've ever really heard him comment so much about a bag I've made.  Maybe I'll have to make him something, but what?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Diaper Bag

Now that it's gotten to where it was going I can write/brag about it.  I made a diaper bag for a friend who had her first baby.  The style was inspired by My "Bohemian Bag" and the first bag I sold.  I loved it so much it almost didn't make it to my friend, not that I need a bag that big.

Diaper Bag Outside



Love this fabric!



Stretchy Pocket



It has two stretchy outside pockets, one on each side.



End Pocket and Ribbon



And two end pockets for bottles, burp cloths, etc.  I can't forget the great bow that can be let out if you need more room.



Diaper Bag Inside



Five inside pockets to keep you organized.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another New Bag

Last week I made a new style of bag to add to my line.  I found this one and had to make my own version.  (I think I'll have to do the handbag size too.  It's so cute.)  It turned out a little differently but I love it.  Christmas is getting close and that means I will soon have all my Christmas projects done so I will start taking orders on the 26th.  You can e-mail me at kellaford@gmail.com.  Mickey's also going to set up a website for me, www.kellaford.com, of course.  There's nothing there yet but hopefully I'll get a few hours of his time while he's off work.



I will post another style in a few days.  It is being shipped and I don't want the recipient to see it here first.



Here's the new bag.  It's called Modern right now since I haven't come up with anything better.  If you have a suggestion for a name let me know.  The five pockets are in the middle of the bag so everything doesn't drop to the bottom.



How smart am I?

Modern Bag



Pleats on Modern Bag



Inside Modern Bag

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Critic and Potential Musician

Tonight we went to my niece's concert.  She's in 8th grade and plays the clarinet.  The concert started at 7p.m. which is around the time our kids start getting ready for bed.  The 5th grade orchestra started out the night.  I'll be very nice and just say you could tell they were beginners.  Then came the 6th graders.  A little better.  Somewhere towards the beginning we realized we should have left Kade with Papa.  Nana came with us.  He kept asking if it was over and he was just all over the place being loud.  Then it was time for the advanced orchestra to play.  They entertained us with "Let it Snow".  I leaned over to Mickey and said I thought this was pretty good.  Then Kade loudly states, "This is terrible!"  We were all laughing to ourselves and trying not to let him see us.  I guess he's a critic already but he should have said it earlier.  (I think he was too busy eating Nana's chocolate to care.)  We were ready to take him home.  Unfortunately Crissy didn't play until the end.  We waited it out.  The orchestras finished and left the stage so the concert band could fill the seats.  Kade thought they were going to leave their instruments on the chairs for anyone to play them.  He was making lots of plans as to what he wanted to try out.  He was very disappointed when the musicians took the instruments with them.  He then kept asking if he could play Crissy's when she was done.  I tried to distract and quiet him by telling him he could play my cello tomorrow after school.  That did it.  The stubborn three-year-old kept telling me over and over that he was going to play it when we got home.  Oh it was so time for him to go to bed.  We barely made it through the concert.  We'll have to take him with us to the girls' concert next week but I don't think we'll take him to my nephew's concert in a week and a half.

A "Little" Cow

Yesterday Mattey and Kade were playing together.  They were playing dress up and pretend.  They are very imaginative kids.  Kade came upstairs and showed us what he was wearing.  Moo.

A Little Cow



This costume is for a child around 6-9 months.  Mattey wore it for her first Halloween.  It's also been worn by Eliza and just recently by my niece Evie.  This shows that kids don't grow much in the middle.  They are all arms and legs.



I had to add the photo showing Mattey wearing the costume.



Halloween_2001

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Snow

Okay, it's not really the first snow but it was the first time the kids went out to play.  Yesterday we got some snow and Mickey was home so that equals playing in the snow.  What a good dad.  Here's a few pictures of the fun.

Making a snowball Snow Angel Snowball Fight Rolling in the snow Making a snowman Watch out! Taking a break to catch a flake or two





The Snowman





P.S.  I was in the house staying cozy warm and knitting.  (Pictures to come in about a week along with more of my creations.)