Wednesday, December 30, 2009

January Give-Away!

When I was at my mom's, I dug up a bunch of old stuff from the basement. One of the items I found was this box, addressed to my brother and sister. I sent it when I lived in Tuntutuliak, Alaska, a little fishing village where I taught fourth grade for a year before going to grad school.

It inspired me to put together a kid kit of sorts for one lucky reader. The kid kit will include:

A set of five Trapp Family cards with envelopes.

This one says, "Mrs. Trapp in Family Living Room."

Secretary's hand cleaner in convenient single-serve packages.

And possibly some other items.

To enter, leave a comment or send me an email telling me your favorite song, character, or part from The Sound of Music. My favorite part is the puppet show... or maybe when the children are in the trees... or when Maria comes back... no, it's the Austrian folk dance!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This is a picture of my mom with her gift from Karl and I. We got two copies of Alligators All Around by Maurice Sendak (Nutshell Library edition, of course!) and a big piece of matboard. We cut the books apart, cut rectangles in the matboard, mounted the pages into the rectangles, and put the whole thing in a frame. I chose this book because it's a very fun alphabet.

And now for the great unveiling of Elsworth's gift.... drumroll, please.... Yes, it's the Christmas Set from Susan B. Anderson's newest book, Itty-Bitty Toys! Knit in cotton, stuffed with wool.

On Christmas day, Karl and I had both of our families over for Feliz Navidad: A Mexican Christmas. It was actually just an excuse to eat enchiladas and nachos, not an attempt at being multicultural. Elsworth made a thematic outfit for the mouse just for the occasion:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best News in Town

Guess what? There is going to be a sequel to A Little Princess published in January! I already love it. It's called Wishing for Tomorrow, and I just cannot wait to find out what Ermengarde, Lottie, Lavinia, and the rest of the girls are up to.

Also, this morning I finished knitting Elsworth's Christmas present. I can't show it to you here, so I'll show it to you all wrapped up:

Hint: It is three pieces.
You'll never guess what it is.

Elsworth is getting here from DC late tomorrow night, so he'll be our first official houseguest. I'll have to find some mints to put on his pillow. Wait! His pillow! We only have two pillows. Uh-oh. I know what I'm doing tomorrow night...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pro Shoveler

Here's my husband, digging us out of last week's blizzard. I took this picture from the front door... I was probably still in my pajamas! What a great husband.

Smart Cookies!

Here they are... a few shots from our open house/cookie decorating extravaganza!

Rowan enjoyed the frosting. He's only three, and he knows the difference between flourescent and incandescent lightbulbs.

Some people were very ambitious.

Scott with little 10-month-old Jackson.

The table full of cookies and decorating materials.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Potato Report

Dear Shazam and other readers,

You asked for a report the potatoes. Here you go: They are completely amazing. I've made them once before. They're very rich tasting, thanks to the wine and garlic combination. I recommend using lots of garlic, and a nice dry wine. So good. So easy. And very substantial; they could be a main dish. Just add a green salad and you're done! Thank you, Pioneer Woman!

Are you tempted to try making them? You totally should. I dare you. And then tell me what you thought. Remember: heavy on the garlic, dry on the wine.


Things I am not good at while cooking dinner:
  • Sipping water and munching on carrot/celery sticks

Things I am good at while cooking dinner:

  • Eating M&Ms
  • Eating cookies
  • Eating chocolate covered pretzels
  • Eating other non-carrot/celery stick items

Well Hello Again

You know what I am in love with? Google Reader. If you have gmail and you don't use Google Reader, you are missing out. I like to read a few blogs here and there. Before I discovered Google Reader, I was checking the blogs using the "favorites" tool on my web browser. And it was so disappointing when there were no updates. But with Google Reader, I just click once and it tells me which blogs on my list have been updated since the last time I logged in. So easy. So fast. And so not disappointing.

In other news... I forgot my camera. Otherwise you would be seeing pictures of the cookie decorating party/open house we had on Saturday. We had more than 50 people come to visit, decorate cookies, sit by the fire, eat snacks, and drink wine. That's right, 50 people in our tiny little house. Not all at one time, thankfully! It was perfect because a lot of our friends hadn't seen the house yet.

Today is Karl's last day of the semester! This is the first of two semesters of the LPN program. I'm so proud of him for working hard this year. I know he's anxious to be finished. I'm secretly planning a special dinner to celebrate his last day: beef tenderloin and these delicious potatoes. Maybe I'll also grab some fresh asparagus on my way home.

And maybe... just maybe... I'll remember my camera tomorrow, so I can show you some snapshots of the Struckmeyer household in full Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Give-Away Winner

Dear Give-Away Poets,

Thank you for all of your poems! So creative, and so celebratory. What better to celebrate this time of year than the BSC?

So... after reading all of the poems over and over, and giggling a lot, and changing my mind about which one I liked the best, I decided that I simply could not choose a "best" poem all by myself. I narrowed it down to four entries, and we drew one winner randomly from those four.

And the one we picked was... I hate to say it because it means that everyone else didn't win, but don't worry, there will be more give-aways... TK's acrostic! Congratulations, TK! Your mint cocoa will be on the way soon!

Snow Day!

This is what our backyard looks like right now:

I especially love the grill. It looks like a Super Mario mushroom.

Because of the blizzard, the library is closed today, and Karl's classes were cancelled. We get to stay home, put on some Christmas music, and bake cookies.

This is the perfect chance to wrap a few last gifts, work on some knitting, sip cocoa, and enjoy our beautiful tree.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


We're getting our tree today! I'm so excited! Karl put electric candles in the windows the other day (he even put them on a timer, so they go on every night at 7:00- what a genius!), and we have the stockings on the mantel and a gorgeous wreath on the front door (thanks, Mom!), so our house already looks kind of Christmassy. But the tree is totally going to seal the deal.

This morning I got up ridiculously early because I wanted to do two projects in preparation for the arrival of the tree. The first was a pad to protect our wood floor from the tree stand. I found an old thick wool sweater that I had been meaning to felt and make into mittens. I cut two big circles out of the sweater's front and back, just larger than the base of our tree stand, then sewed the circles together. Done.

Then I made a tree skirt. I had snagged a cute piece of vintage fabric at a recent swap (our knitting group gets together every so often to trade clothes, craft supplies, and random other items). I cut a big circle out of it and then cut a smaller circle in the middle, for the stand. Then I hemmed both edges. It slips right on- no buttons, zippers, velcro, snaps... Of course, this means we'll have to remember to put the skirt on before putting the tree in the stand!

The skirt's not very big, more of a mini-skirt. But it covers the stand, which is really the goal, right? And it wasn't made in China. And it cost $0.00. Sweet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Give-Away Reminder

There's still time to enter the December Give-Away! Put on your poetry hat and send in your BSC tribute!