Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

I've been under the weather this past week with a bad cold.  Between being a little sick and getting ready for Christmas, I've hardly had a spare minute to sit down a the computer.  Christmas Eve was spent hanging out at home and then going to our Christmas Eve service at church.  We were up early on Christmas morning watching the kids open their stockings and then stretching out present opening for as long as possible after that.  We spent the afternoon and evening with my parents, Grandpa and Grandma, and my Aunt Barb, having a lovely meal and enjoying each others' company.  Today is the second day of Christmas, according to the church calendar, and the girls opened a present from their Aunt and Uncle in Utah.  The thing that touched me the most the last couple of days while watching the girls receive presents is that they were very thankful for all that which they received; additionally, they were just as excited to see their sisters open presents they had picked out for each other as they were opening the presents they had received.   Below is a little video of 4 of our 5 girls singing for us last night. 

video

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Feeling Christmasy

There aren't that many weeks out of the year when the girls have a good opportunity to wear their Christmas dresses, so I try and break them out for a few occasions when I can.  Thankfully, since the dresses aren't heavily used, they are in great shape to be handed down to the next sister the following Christmas.  This year, Little D was given a lovely new dress by her godmother, Marsha, and in her own words, "It is beautiful!".







Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hanging Christmas Cards

I'm always propping up Christmas cards around the house at this time of  year trying to display them in some fashion, but this year I was looking for a new way to do this.  I think I saw a picture of this idea somewhere else, but I can't remember where exactly.  So, I just did my own take on it. 



I traced the letters on pieces of white paper and had each of the three oldest girls decorate one of the letters the way that they wanted to.  Then, I hot glued the pre-measured ribbon onto the bottom back of each letter.  When the glue was dry, I used masking tape to stick the letters to the wall and to secure the bottom of the ribbon to the wall, as well.  I tried using double sided picture sticker mounts to tape the cards to the ribbon, but that didn't work out so well.  So, plan B of hot gluing them to the ribbon turned out to be the solution.  I think it turned out pretty well for a quick, little Christmas project. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Persimmon Pie

Once again, I was inspired by my friend's use of persimmons and decided to copy her (thanks for the great idea, Janene!).  She posted a picture of her persimmon cranberry pie.  I happened to have fresh cranberries on hand, so I made this same pie, too.

Yum!

 I just treated the persimmons like apples; I peeled them and sliced them in long, thinner slices.  Then, to be sure that the persimmons were soft enough since they were semi-firm to the touch, I put my sugar, persimmons, cranberries, cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon juice in a saucepan and gently simmered them until the persimmons were just soft.  After I took it off the heat, I mixed in 1/3 cup of flour and poured the filling into the pie crust.  I baked the pie at 400 degrees F for about 50 minutes, until the filling was just bubbling and the crust was golden brown.  The whole family was thrilled with the results! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Blogger Dilemma Update

I didn't seem to be making much progress on my picture storage issue on Picassaweb, but I did delete a few old pictures from a previous blog that I shut down and some unnecessary extra profile pics of myself.  I found some tips from others about exporting photos from Picassaweb and resizing them, but never really figured out how to make it work for me, at least not yet.  Then, I looked down at my Picassaweb account just not and it says I'm only using 19% or my available storage.  I have no idea how that happened as it said I was using 99.8% of it a few days ago, but as long as this lets me post pictures to my blog, I'm not complaining.  And, I'll be resizing them before posting so that hopefully I won't have this problem reoccur to soon in the near future. 

Plentiful Persimmons

In my area here in So.Cal., persimmons abound this time of year.  I tried them a couple of years ago and I wasn't a huge fan.  They are very sweet, but don't have a particularly distinctive flavor to me, so I figured they weren't really worth my time.  That was until a good friend came over to my house with her canning supplies to make persimmon preserves from the persimmons in her own yard.  This gave me a chance to re-evaluate the uses of persimmons and I've since realizes that they are very versatile.  Because they aren't that distinctive in taste, they remind me of tofu in their quality of being able to be a blank slate that you write your own flavors on and then enjoy.  Since, our preserve canning session, I have been using persimmons in many different ways and seeing them with new eyes.  To combat one of my biggest persimmon dilemmas, which is that they go from just ripe to overly ripe at lightning speed, I included the mushy persimmons in a fruit leather/homemade fruit roll-up recipe that I found online.  They are absolutely perfect for the job because they are nice and sweet and ready to blend when they are that ripe. 
Here is the link to the page where I found this recipe.  Scroll down to the recipe for Strawberry Fruit Leather and click the link there for the full recipe.  http://goop.com/journal/make/196/small-bites

This fruit leather recipe is really very easy.  It looks like a smoothie when blended. My two tips are: (1) try and spread the mixture as evenly as possible on the parchment paper, and (2) check it regularly so as not to over-bake them.  My first try was so crispy that they turned out as fruit chips instead of fruit leathers.  This is such a great way to use fruit that is just a little bit too ripe to be easily be eaten by your kids.  My last batch included pears, persimmons, a guava, and mixed berries.  I like to put in at least a 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries in each batch because the girls like the taste it gives the fruit leathers. 

The fruit leather just stays on the parchment paper, you roll it up, and then either tie it or tape it in a roll.


The fruit leather after it comes out of the oven.

 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Friends

I was just looking at one of Martha Stewart's blogs and ran across this quote.  It struck me as so true!  You can meet someone for the very first time or be talking to an acquaintance that you have known for quite some time, but when this happens, a friendship can be born.  It is the camaraderie of finding something in common.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blogger Dilemmas and Such

I'm feeling a bit stalled on my blogging right now and let me tell you why; then, maybe somebody will have some feedback or ideas for this problem of mine.

I have come up against the photo storage limit that Blogger has set (1GB); the photos are actually stored at Picasaweb which is part of Google, too.  I don't really know if the photo storage limit has always been in effect or is something newer that Google has done, but it is might annoying.  I think posting pictures with blog posts make things so much more interesting, but right now I might be able to post one more picture, and then I'm done for.  Here are the solutions I've thought of thus far.
1.  Erasing the oldest year of my blog posts, or just taking the pictures off the oldest year of my blog posts to free up some more space.  Of course, that will only last so long.  Also, I don't really like the idea of altering my blog because it is my personal online journal and I don't want to mess with the memories I've put there.
2.  I could just keep blogging on a different web address at Blogger, but then my "mamaoffivegirls" part of my blog address changes, too.  Is there any way that I can get my present blog to just automatically redirect a viewer to a different page? 
3.  I could just get a domain name and have an internet address that is mine.  I guess I'll check in with the hubby on how that works.  I just don't want to run into the same photo storage problems as before if it is a web hosting sight (I really don't even know what I'm talking about here; fortunately, I know people that do). 

So, I will try and fiddle some more with my pics so that I can keep posting for awhile longer, but I think I need a better solution long-term.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!