Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gingerbread Man - A Case Study

Subject Matter: This study involves a common holiday treat known as the "Gingerbread Man", consisting of a cookie base with spices, rolled and cut into a shape with a basic definition of a head, arms, and legs.

Observation: When the gingerbread cookie was given over to the design team (Arthur), it was noticed that a very detail oriented design emerged on the said cookie. With the collaboration of Big Jamey, the cookie items were identified and labeled (see picture 1 - it can be clicked on to enlarge and see the labels). It remains unsure as to the benefit of the cookie to have a hula hoop, maracas, etc. However, a link was discovered that the more accessorized the cookie was with the chosen decorating material of Mini M&Ms, the chance of it being eaten quickly by two small children increased greatly.

Conclusion: The children at the Amboy house prefer gingerbread cookies with many accessories, and the above gingerbread boy who had the most out of all created, was the first to be chosen.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catch me if you can, I'm the Gingerbread man!

We decided to make some gingerbread cookies yesterday. The boys helped make the dough and when the recipe said it had to be chilled, they wanted to chill it outside in the snow to see if it would work as well as the fridge. So, for the novelty of it we put the dough out the front door on my Japanese lantern to chill.
Coming back an hour and a half later to check on the dough, I found that it had disappeared under more snow that had fallen. (it snowed the entire day without stopping. James measured at dinner time 6 inches). I poked through the snow and found the dough very chilled.
Once the dough was cut into gingerbread boys, Arthur decorated the cookies.
Here are the finished cookies - one may have jumped off the cookie sheet and ran away, but we have plenty more left to eat.
Jamey did the official taste test and declared that they were fit for this little king.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Boys at play

What can be better than a pile of snow to play in? Maybe having school canceled?!!? The fellas are relishing their day and have been celebrating it in grand style.
They like to play on the trampoline in the snow. They take their dump truck and tractor to make snow roads, pile it up and other important maneuvers.

Here is Arthur holding what appears to be a large snowball. Who could he be thinking of walloping with his chunk of snow?
Jamey enjoying the sled run. He has been able to zoom down the hill and ended up against the garden fencing.
Is it a boy, or a snowman? Jamey looks half frozen coming in from the play. Although, he says he wants to celebrate the snow by rolling out in it all natural. Guess it is tradition now. He wished for pictures again that he will post on his blog. So, stay tuned to his blog for further snow pictures.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Snow Day!

Pillowcases 101

We have snow today, and a lot of it. With the snow came a change of plans and a chance for me to catch up on some of my projects. And in the process, here is the pillowcase how-to that I talked about a while back. I really like this style of pillowcase-making as the border is completed on both sides very easily.
The first step is to cut and lay the border fabric of your pillowcase right side up. I like to use an 8 - 9 inch wide border piece.
Second, cut the fabric for your pillow case (I make mine two-thirds of a yard long) and lay it also right-side-up, directly on top of the border piece, lining up the edges so they are flush. If you have directional fabric as I do above, you will need to decide how you want it to go on the finished pillowcase. In the example above, the finished piece will have the border at the top (above the children's heads).
Once you have the fabrics lined up, take your body fabric and roll it up tight so you can wrap it with the border fabric like a burrito, making the edges flush. When you finish you will have the body fabric inside the border fabric. The edges of all three layers should then be pinned together flush, as this is where they will be sewn together. Border-body-border.
Here you pin the fabrics in place a run a 1/4 inch seam along the edge from selvage to selvage. You will be left with a tube of fabric.

You take this tube of fabric and start turning it right side out.
Once you have pulled the fabric out of the tube, you can see the border is complete for both sides (yay!!). Now just hem the sides and bottom (I use a french hem on sides, straight hem on bottom) and your pillow case is done.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A new game

Kids seems to always have the most fun with games they invent themselves. Mine are no exception.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hollyhocks and Snapdragons - in December?


Two months ago, I went through my flower beds mulching, separating, and pruning to get everything ready for the winter's rest. Much to my surprise, I am finding the flowers are putting on a second show! I took these pictures just today (Dec 4th). I love my south facing wall.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jamey's Early Birthday Dinner

We decided to celebrate Jamey's 8th birthday a little early since it falls midweek this year. Jamey wanted a winter themed birthday so the guests received party scarves, decorated snowflakes, had ice-cream cake and snow cones. It was a lot of fun, and I am amazed at how fast Jamey is growing up.

Jamey and Arthur looking very dapper in their new winter fashion.
Jamey had his friend Logan over to help celebrate the event. They are showing their masterpiece snowflakes. No two are alike!

My brothers Dave (left) and Ryan were home from college and helped us celebrate. They too, are sporting the new look in mens' fashion.

Jamey doesn't like cake, so we got him an ice cream cake from Baskin and Robbins. Here he is examining the visual quality of said cake before doing the all important taste test.