Sunday, November 29, 2009

My new favorite accessory

Avant Garde Gal, Queen Scarlett and Dauntless Daughter

An orange and green penne pasta necklace made by my darling Dauntless Daughter (DD), who is three.

It's we take pictures of our outfits... I am so lucky the girls, love to match. They wake up in the morning matching their underwear... it's very sweet.

Happy Sunday ya'll.

ps. I think our picture is crooked. Taken by Blue Lily. She and Mr. Blue Lily are groovy.

Also... BIGGER pictures brought to you by No Biggie. She is awesome.

Friday, November 27, 2009

FEAST...gobble, gobble

This year we were again honored to share Thanksgiving dinner with my friend Carrie. This is the post from last year. I have never liked turkey. It's always been dry...and with an odd flavor. Then I had Carrie's turkey last year...and this year. It is so delicious. She orders a fresh turkey and works her culinary magic with it. She is a master in the kitchen and I love that we both enjoy good food.

I made the same yams from last year, Garnet Yams with Bliss Maple Syrup and Maple-Sugar Streusel. They are divine. I also made my Mom's crescent butter rolls, cinnammon rolls, turkey rice krispies, and my friend Cabesh's relish turkey...with a twist. We did half fruit/half cheese and olives. It was so much fun making the food... the girls loved decorating the relish turkey themselves.

Carrie and John are in the top left above, with his parents right below them. To our right is Lisa and Mark. And... in the center picture'll find my friend Erin and David - Erin makes the best mashed potatoes and her green beans were... mmmm perfect. It was a fantastic group to share a hearty meal, and entertaining conversation.

Oh...and Carrie's pies. Holy ...mmmmmmm. She made a pumpkin pie from a sugar pumpkin...not Libby's. She made a pumpkin chiffon pie, chocolate pecan and a succulent apple pie. I had a slice of each topped off with her fresh whipped cream. Oh yeah! You can't beat homemade... it's impossible.

It was a great feast... great company... and after we returned home I was in a certified turkey stupor... hope your bellies were as happy as mine!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grateful for...

We are grateful for the pilgrims and native americans.

We are grateful for feasting...

We are grateful for mother-heart teachers.

We are grateful for sisters.

We are grateful for this beautiful world God created for us.

We are grateful for sweets.

We are grateful to be friends.

We are grateful for all, good teachers.

We are most grateful for each other.

ps. friends/family, visit my private for the videos of their thanksgiving feast performances.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Word Clouds for Beehives

Wordle: Faith to Succeed 4

The lesson this week is Lesson 41 from YW Manual 1, "The Ability to Succeed". I'm focusing the lesson on understanding your self-worth outside of other people, society, etc...

If you look at the lesson... it starts out a bit negatively...and I'm not taking that route. I think girls at this age have a constant, violent, internal babble of negativity in their minds... I'm not going to ask them to put it down on paper to start the lesson off. I'll let you it all goes once I'm done...if I get around to it. ;-)

However, I really love this quote from the lesson:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” - Eleanor Roosevelt (“Points to Ponder,” Reader’s Digest, Feb. 1963, p. 261).

AMEN SISTAH! I feel like it's my mantra. Other people's opinions, judgments, praise, etc... don't matter - unless they matter to you. The silly fads, trends, labels, etc... that make you feel inferior, or superior only matter if you let them matter. If you don't - you are FREE. Free to take charge of your own life, free to live the way you know you should, free from stress, anxiety, pomposity, and self-loathing.

And... when we let go of all that - we recognize our worth in God's eyes. We are able to let our light shine... like a beacon in a lighthouse. When we realize our worth, we don't try to diminish it... we use it to benefit others, to lift, inspire, and support them.

I adore lessons like these... and I always feel the weight of teaching truth on my shoulders... I'm not just teaching a gaggle of adorable teens. I'm teaching the best, the brightest, the most valiant that the Lord chose to fulfill missions on this earth, at this time, in this place.

You can make your own word cloud too.

Wordle: Faith to Succeed 3

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Five Year Old Tea Party

mini applesauce spice cupcakes (martha stewart), costco's peppermint bark, Sticky Fingers scones (black current and lemon poppyseed), roast beef avo sandwiches, cucumber mint sandwiches, and strawberries, blueberries and red grapes.

I invited the girls from my daughter, AGG's kindergarten class for a tea party celebrating their two-week Thanksgiving break. The night before when I was cleaning, baking... getting the food ready... my hubby thought I was preparing a tea party for myself and my friends.

He thinks I overdo it when it comes to things for the girls. But I think... if it's not good enough for me... how can it be good enough for the girls? For me... all of this is an expression of love. And... let's be honest... stuff from scratch tastes ...oozes love.

Peach and Raspberry herbal teas, with cucumber lemon water...with strawberry preserves and lemon curd for the scones.

Plus, we're still mourning the closure of the Tea Party Cafe... due to the economy. I'd been taking AGG there since she was 18 months old. Both girls love our spot. So... since my daughters have been weaned on tea parties... AGG was properly thrilled.

I scheduled it during her little sister, DD's preschool. So it would be a party just for AGG. A very, special day.

The first thing all the girls did was bounce on the trampoline we have in our living room. I think we fit about 7 in there. When the ninth guest showed up - we had to abandon the clown car idea and have the tea party.

I forget that at this age other kids aren't as exposed to different foods ... like I've exposed mine to. So it was like... 5 minutes of food/tea and they were off jumping, playing with the giant doll house and shrieking happily.

When 3 year old DD came home... she had her own tea party with all the left over goodies. We had enough to enjoy it all at dinner with Daddy too.

I love that my girls love tea parties.

Next time... for the other kids... I could do lemonade... and maybe pb&j sandwiches.

PARANOIA...and Giving Credit

Want to know what's been roiling around in my head???

I don't crave going back to work. There was always so much internal politics that it totally turned me off. I like to be a part of a true team - and the nature of PR and any field is a bit cutthroat - you're always looking out for number one...and if you aren't - everyone else is. Loyalty comes in short supply.

Internal politics, disloyalty and taking credit that's not due - or not appreciating and recognizing people for their contributions - really peeves me.

I will have to say... the experience has kept me... wary. There are things that come up in social situations, various groups and organizations that require me to tap into that instinct when you know something is up. When you know there's a faction trying to uproot you, oust you - despite the work and effort you've put in... filled with ingratitude...the hairs on my neck stand to prickle.

I've always believed in knowing your value. Don't let anyone short-change you.

I had a manager who knew nothing - zilch about semiconductors. So they recruited me to fill that role at their agency. I brought over a friend of mine who was also brilliant. Together we worked to build a solid semiconductor, EDA and foundry clientele - and throughout that... she took all the credit, used our knowledge and pretty much did nothing, but create a very unhealthy work environment. (You should've seen how mortified we were when she'd bare her cleavage to a room full of EEs... let's just one got much work done that day)

I vowed that with my team - I'd manage them such that they received the praise when they did the work. They got the credit for creativity and dedication. Why would you want to work with anyone who you couldn't trust to back you up? You want a leader who cheers your successes, and elevates you happily. Not one that is so insecure they stomp on you to make them a smidge taller.

That philosophy is still what I practice today. If I make something that's someone else's recipe - you better believe I talk them up. If I learned something from someone, heck yes, I tell people who taught me. I don't believe that life is a competition. I don't. I believe we're happier when we cheer for each other. When we're not jealous of each other, when we know our own worth, and that's enough for us. We don't need to be selfish in our admiration, gratitude and genuine, actionable praise for others. It doesn't diminish our worth to show that joy and energy for others. In fact, I think it makes us brighter.

I am motivated by an environment of trust, loyalty and genuine, actionable gratitude and teamwork. I don't operate on empty words. Why give your all - when your all is inconsequential, easily deleted ... why? Betrayal of any kind cuts so deeply to me that it's the end. The end of any desire to be involved.

And when that happens - you discover how ungrateful and deceptive people can be. And as wary as I am... I am also far too trusting and loyal... until it's ultimately, too late.

Maybe I'm not paranoid enough???

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fancy Nancy

So our local Borders had a Fancy Nancy Saturday.

I usually work out for two hours each Saturday, but had to cut my Yoga in half so I could rush home to get the girls. So I told my hubby what time they'd have to be decked out all fancy...and he did a great job. All I had to do was fix up the hair, change out some sweat-soaked workout clothes and run to Borders.

I know I'm biased... but with the hair and outfits, it was no competition. They did a story time, handed out fancy jewelry and had an informal fashion show. DD was one of three finalists, based on audience applause...and in the end, she won.

All of the little girls were very reserved when they had to have their turn on the step-stool for the fashion show, even AGG. But little DD got up there and posed for the audience. It cracked me up, surprised me...which is why I only got half a shot of it. She won the coveted book prize.

We had a great time. Although, AGG nearly started to cry ... she wanted to win, of course. Luckily, all the kids were able to get either Fancy Nancy wrapping paper or binoculars. AGG picked the paper, she loves wrapping things.