Saturday, December 24, 2011


The Heath family dresses up for the nativity scene each year.  My sister-in-law has an impressive array of costumes.  Reese was talking all day about how she was going to be the star that "was above baby Jesus."

This year Katie wanted to be Joseph

Miranda held the star, but Reese was okay with that.  She decided it was good enough to be an angel.

Gavin as a wise man, accompanied by Uncle Will and Uncle Steve.

Lillie as Mary

Trevor the donkey getting into a brawl with Gavin the wise man.

Liam and Daxton as sheep


Mary riding the donkey

 Sheep Chllin' with the star

Dax, the other sheep

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My sister Shelly just came home from a semester abroad in Vienna.  She brought home with her a strudel recipe and I agreed to help her make it.  It was my first time making strudel.  So don't judge.

kneading the dough

Then let the dough sit for a couple hours so the gluten will rest, theoretically making it easy to roll out super thin.  Theoretically.

You are supposed to roll it so thin that doing it on a table cloth is probably the only way to roll it out without it sticking to the the table.

Apple filling.  Smelled of the copious amounts of cinnamon we put in.

Dough rolled (though not thin enough) and filling spread out

roll up like a cinnamon roll, place on pan.  Curl as needed to make it fit.

It didn't brown super well.  

*taking a bite of strudel* 
crunch crunch chew chew 
*considering the taste*
*raising fork*
"Here's to the next attempt!"

It tasted okay.  The next day I scraped out the filling, added some extra sugar, and re-rolled it in filo dough.   Much flakier.  But next time I try strudel I'll not follow the recipe for the filling, I'll make my own version.

Thanks for letting me bake with you, Shelly!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Yesterday I was trying to tackle the mountain of papers that seem to pile up overnight (with little success, as usual, due to the fact that if I'm sitting down my children assume it's because I need them to give me something to do) when I re-discovered the bag of wedding cards I've been keeping around for seven years with the intention of writing thank-you notes. I've even begun doing it a number of times, but never made much of a dent. Now, I've never been good at thank-yous. For anything. I know that I've alreay broken rules of etiquette by taking this long to get the job done, but I also know that Miss Manners would tell me better late than never.
So for the past seven years I've kept this bag of cards with the best intentions. But as I looked at my paper-sorting piles, I realized that I have been using this bag as an excuse. "I'll write that thank you note when I write all the wedding thank-yous." And thus one thank-you note becomes an insurmountable mountain when all I have are snippits of time here and there to write.

So I have come to a very important, perhaps immoral descision. I am going to write a few select thank-you notes from my wedding, like for Becky Haggard and Lisa Clark, who stepped in to help without being asked, and then I'm declaring bankruptcy. Or thankyouruptcy, if you will. I'm admitting defeat. I'm throwing the bag away. And then I'll make a more concerted effort to show my grattitude on paper more often in the future. And I'm going to allow myself to forgive myself for doing it. I hope.

So please forgive me if you were waiting for that thank-you note. Please know that whatever you did, I really am grateful. I'm just not good at telling you.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm not even getting around to sending Christmas cards this year. (Though, to be fair, I have been pretty good at that in years past.  To make up for it, I have a Christmas card-ish photo album below.)

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I appreciate your understanding.