Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy 80th!

Last weekend, we celebrated my mom's 80th birthday.  My parents, my siblings, and their families had a get-together at my parents' house.

My brother organized it.  He brought a honey-baked ham.  Each of the rest of us brought one (or more) dishes of food.

Here was our menu:
     honey-baked ham
     pineapple casserole
     au gratin potatoes
     candied yams
     green beans
     deviled eggs
     potato salad

My older sister brought some appetizers:
     cocktail meatballs
     cheese and crackers

My brother also asked some of us to provide other party details:
     My younger sister dusted and vacuumed my parents' house the day before the party.
     My older sister brought the birthday cake.

     I brought the centerpiece, paper plates, napkins, and plasticware.

I made the centerpiece to match the plates and napkins I had selected.

The tulips are cut from cardstock, the stems are green paper straws, the leaves are green tissue paper, the grass is green styrofoam, and the ground is a piece of wood.

Nineteen of us celebrated together.

my dad's cousin-in-law, my younger sister,
my mom, my older sister

my husband, my dad, my brother,
 my brother's wife

Here's the birthday girl...ready for us to sing "Happy Birthday" to her!

I told my mom, "Don't forget to make a birthday wish!"  :)  She blew out the candles on her cake...with the help of two of her great-grandsons.  Afterward, the younger great-grandson said, "I didn't know what to wish for!"  ;o)

Love you, Mom...and wishing you many happy returns.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I received this postcard today...from Russia.

It is an ad postcard for Air France.  I think it's kind of a neat postcard; however, I was a bit disappointed that the sender didn't write a single word on the back of it.  :(

I was interested (slightly) in learning something about Air France.  This is some of what I learned about the airline.

  • Air France is headquartered on the grounds of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport located north of Paris.
  • Air France was formed in 1933 from a merger of several airlines.
  • Air France served as France's primary national flag carrier for seven decades prior to its merger with KLM in 2003.  (A flag carrier is an airline or ship-line registered under the laws of a country whose government gives it partial or total monopoly over international routes.)
  • In 2004, Air France ranked as the largest European airline with 25.5% total market share.
  • In 2004, Air France was the largest airline in the world in terms of operating revenue.
  • In 2011, Air France carried 59,513,000 passengers.
  • As of 2013, Air France serves 36 destinations in France and operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to 168 destinations in 93 countries.

   Business Dictionary

Monday, February 24, 2014


I received two postcards today.  The second one was from Japan.

This postcard shows Hakodate at night.

Hokkaido is Japan's second largest island.  Hokkaido is the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectures.  (A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision.)  The largest city on the island of Hokkaido is its capital, Sapporo.

Here is some of what I learned about Hakodate, the city shown on the postcard.

  • Hakodate is a city and port located in Hokkaido, Japan.
  • Hakodate was Japan's first city whose port was opened to foreign trade in 1854.
  • Hakodate was the biggest city in Hokkaido before a great fire in 1934.
  • Hakodate has an estimated population of 279,851 as of 2011.
  • Hakodate has a total area of approximately 262 square miles.
  • Hakodate is the third biggest city in Hokkaido after Sapporo and Asahikawa.



I received two postcards today.  The first one was from Taiwan.

It is a prismatic postcard, which is the reason why the image (right side) of the postcard looks a bit odd.

I learned some things about the city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

  • Kaohsiung City is located in southern-western Taiwan.
  • Kaohsiung City faces the Taiwan Strait.
  • Kaohsiung City is the largest municipality (by area) at approximately 1,138 square miles.
  • Kaohsiung City is the second most populous municipality (by urban area) at approximately 2.77 million people.
  • The Port of Kaohsiung is the largest harbor in Taiwan, but not officially part of Kaohsiung City.

source:  Wikipedia

Friday, February 21, 2014


I received this postcard today...from Taiwan.

According to the sender, this postcard is a painting of a place of historic interest in Tainan.  However, there is no mention of the name of the place.  I haven't been able to figure it out.  Do you know?

I did learn some things about Tainan.  :)

  • Tainan is officially known as Tainan City.
  • Tainan is a city in southern Taiwan.
  • Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan.
  • Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in the west and south.
  • Tainan formerly was named Tayouan, which has been claimed to be the origin of the name "Taiwan."
  • Tainan is a cultural capital of Taiwan, for its rich folk cultures.

source:  Wikipedia

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I received this postcard today...from Singapore.

I think it's an ad postcard; however, at least the sender included a bit of information about the area pictured.  :)

The postcard shows an infinity pool at Village Hotel Changi in Singapore.  The hotel is facing Changi Beach.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I received this postcard today...from Finland.

The sender provided so much great information.  :)  She wrote that Koli National Park, located in the North Karelia region, is one of the best-known national landscapes in Finland.  The views are breathtakingly beautiful.  (I agree with that!)

Over a hundred years ago, the Finnish Travel Association started marketing Koli's nature to tourists.  The nature of Koli has inspired many of Finland's famous artists, like their best-known composer, Jean Sibelius, and especially one of their famous painters, Eero J√§rnefelt.

She recommended this website for learning more about Koli and Finnish nature:

I also learned that Koli National Park:
  • covers 12 square miles in the forested hills on the western shore of Lake Pielinen
  • was established in 1991
  • has been called one of the national sceneries of Finland
source:  Wikipedia

Sunday, February 16, 2014


          "It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
          "And freezing."
          "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."
                    ~by A.A. Milne

I was upstairs, sitting at my desk...doing something on the computer, when the earthquake hit.  I knew exactly what it was, since I'd experienced an earthquake when I lived in Kentucky.  That felt like a slight tremor; this felt like...well, let's just say that I felt it!

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 4.1 magnitude earthquake which hit at 10:23 pm on Friday (February 14th), seven miles northwest of Edgefield, South Carolina.  It was felt across South Carolina and as far away as Atlanta, Georgia and Greensboro, North Carolina.

I went downstairs to ask my husband if he had felt it.  He had been asleep in the recliner...and looked at me like I was crazy.  I said, "Check it out!  --Get on Facebook or the Internet...."  I received another "look" from him, like Yeah, right. However, he did switch the television to a news channel.  Sure enough, they were reporting that telephone calls and e-mail messages were flooding in to the newsroom from throughout the upstate....

Although the earthquake hit approximately 90 miles away from us, I was rocked forward and backward, and back and forth in my chair...and the items on the shelves of my desk hutch were rattling...for at least 8 seconds.  (If you think about it, that's a long time when you're being jostled unexpectedly by an earthquake.)

An earthquake of this size is not a common occurrence in South Carolina.  This earthquake was the strongest in South Carolina since a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck near Charleston in 2002.

   USA Today
   WYFF 4

Did you feel South Carolina's earthquake on Friday night?  Have you ever been in an earthquake?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Family Dinner Book Club selection for February is The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.

The Day the Crayons Quit
by Drew Daywalt

     Poor Duncan just wants to color.  But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing:  We quit!
     Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown.  Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used.  Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other.
     What is Duncan to do?
        ~from The Day the Crayons Quit book jacket

We read The Day the Crayons Quit, and T colored this page.

We also read these books...

The Crayon Box that Talked
by Shane DeRolf

     Once upon a time in a toy store, there was a box of crayons.  The crayons in it just couldn't get along.  Yellow did not like Red, and neither, for that matter, did Green.  And no one at all seemed to like Orange.  As Blue pointed out, something was very wrong.
     But something very right begins to happen when a little girl takes these crayons home and starts coloring with them.  They realize that the big picture they make together is ever so much more exciting and varied  yes, even dazzling!  than the small pictures they make alone.
        ~from The Crayon Box that Talked book jacket

My Crayons Talk
by Patricia Hubbard

     Crayons do talk  they also shout, swing, scream, and hoot in this exuberant celebration of color and feeling.
        ~from My Crayons Talk book jacket

Bad Day at Riverbend
by Chris Van Allsburg

     Welcome to Riverbend, a sleepy Western outpost where nothing ever happens and, it seems, nothing ever will.  But one fateful day the stagecoach rolls into town, its team of horses covered with an unidentifiable substance.  As the strange stuff spreads its devastation, the terrified townspeople turn to their leader.
     Whatever this evil is, Sheriff Ned Hardy aims to put an end to it.  He mounts his horse and leads a posse to hunt down the source of the curse, but just as they close in on their suspect, the cowboys are frozen in a mysterious light that suddenly fills the sky.
        ~from Bad Day at Riverbend book jacket

Not in the House, Newton!
by Judith Heide Gilliland

     Newton's mom is pleased that he wants to draw quietly while she is busy cleaning house for company.  On ordinary days, Newton is a very good artist.  Today, though, is no ordinary day, and Newton's pictures cause quite a ruckus, enough for Mom to keep warning, "Not in the house, Newton!"
        ~from Not in the House, Newton! book jacket

Purple, Green and Yellow
by Robert Munsch

     While at the 1990 Toronto Storytelling Festival, Robert Munsch noticed a girl named Brigid who was painting her fingernails with colored markers.  He had just the right story for her.
        ~from Purple, Green and Yellow book back

From Wax to Crayon
by Robin Nelson

     How are crayons made?  Follow each step in the production cycle in this non-fiction book.

and, we also watched this DVD....

Harold and the Purple Crayon 
Let Your Imagination Soar!

     Based on the classic book, these adventures star Harold, an inventive and curious toddler with thoughts, desires, and feelings typical of any child his age.  In his Crayon World, Harold can muse on questions that all young children naturally wonder about, and he can come up with his own answers.  But it is not the crayon that is magic.  The crayon is merely the key to unlock the power of Harold's imagination.
     The DVD features these episodes:  Harold's Birthday Gift, A Blast from the Past, Harold the Artiste, Harold's Walk on the Wild Side, Harold in the Dark, Future Clock, and Cowboy Harold.
        ~from Harold and the Purple Crayon  Let Your Imagination Soar! DVD insert

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Play

My husband worked from home yesterday.  The roads were treacherous.  The weather advisory was that anyone who absolutely did not have to be out on the roads not to be out on the roads!  At quitting time, my husband took T outside to play in the snow.

Throwing snowballs....

A "thumbs up" for playing in the snow!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Winnie-the-Pooh Supper

I made this Winnie-the-Pooh muffin tin meal for T's supper today.

  • Baked Hunny Chicken
  • green beans (from Rabbit's garden)
  • hunny butter biscuit
  • tossed salad (from Rabbit's garden)
  • baby carrots (from Rabbit's garden) with ranch dressing
  • mashed potatoes (from Rabbit's garden)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh glass of milk

Wasn't that nice of Rabbit to provide so many wonderful veggies for T's meal?!  ;-)

The Baked Honey Chicken recipe is from Daisy at Home.  It's a food suggestion for the Family Dinner Book Club selection for January, Winnie-the-Pooh.

I made the Piglet, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Eeyore picks from a printable for pencil toppers.

Tomorrow is the big day for our Winnie-the-Pooh family dinner celebration...if I can finish getting it together!  :/

Linked to:
   I Heart Lunch

Winnie-the-Pooh Breakfast

I made this Winnie-the-Pooh muffin tin meal for T's breakfast today...for T to enjoy while he waits for our Family Dinner Book Club celebration tomorrow!  ;-)

  • bear pancake with banana slices (ears and nose) and
    chocolate chips (eyes and nose)
  • Hunnycomb cereal
  • hunny butter biscuit with orange marmalade
  • applesauce with bear sprinkles
  • hunny Teddy (bear) Grahams with blue balloon pick
  • Winnie-the-Pooh glass of milk

     "When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
     "What's for breakfast," said Pooh.  "What do you say, Piglet?"
     "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
     Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
     "It's the same thing," he said.

          ~from Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Inspiration for the bear pancake:

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Today, I received this postcard from Russia.

This is The Church of the Resurrection of Christ, also known as Our Saviour-on-the-Spilt-Blood.  It is located in St. Petersburg, Russia.

It was built from 1883-1907, on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

source:  Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winnie-the-Pooh Lunch

I made this Winnie-the-Pooh muffin tin meal for T's lunch today...for T to enjoy while he waits for our Family Dinner Book Club celebration later this week!  ;-)

  • bear-shaped sandwich on hunny wheat bread with mini m&m's for the facial features
  • pretzel sticks (to resemble a tree trunk) with a blue balloon pick
  • baby carrots (from Rabbit's garden) with ranch dressing
  • applesauce with bear sprinkles
  • hunny roasted peanuts
  • hunny Teddy (bear) Grahams

     "It's like this," [Winnie-the-Pooh] said.  "When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is not to let the bees know you're coming.  Now, if you have a green balloon, they might think you were only part of the tree, and not notice you, and if you have a blue balloon, they might think you were only part of the sky, and not notice you, and the question is:  Which is most likely?"
     "Wouldn't they notice you underneath the balloon?" [Christopher Robin] asked.
     "They might or they might not," said Winnie-the-Pooh.  "You never can tell with bees."  He thought for a moment and said:  "I shall try to look like a small black cloud.  That will deceive them."
     "Then you had better have the blue balloon," [Christopher Robin] said; and so it was decided.

          ~from Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne


We read the book, Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne last week.

Once upon a time, a very long time ago now,
about last Friday, 
Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest
all by himself under the name 
of Sanders.
~from Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

The book has 10 chapters.  I started on Monday and read a chapter at breakfast and/or a chapter at lunch while T was eating each day.  We finished the book over the weekend.

Now...on to the special dinner celebration!  I'm planning it for one night this week...maybe Thursday or Friday?  (Stay tuned!)

Monday, February 3, 2014


Today, I received my first postcard from Lithuania.

This postcard shows the Orthodox Church of St. Michael...located in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was built in 1913 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty.

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city with a population of 537,152 as of 2013.

   Visit Lithuania

Football Food

My husband watched the Super Bowl on television yesterday.  I watched part of it....

I fixed finger food to eat while we sat in the family room and watched...and I prepared this muffin tin meal for T.

  • baby carrots in a football cupcake liner
  • Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (for dipping the carrots)
  • Baked Honey Chicken
  • sauce (for dipping the chicken)
  • Utz Football Shaped Pretzels in a football cupcake liner
  • Little Debbie Football Shaped Brownie

The Baked Honey Chicken recipe is from Daisy at Home.  Actually, it's a food suggestion for the Family Dinner Book Club selection for January, Winnie-the-Pooh. That's a great recipe.  Delicious!  :)  I'd never used panko bread crumbs before.  It gave the chicken a delightful crunch.

Linked to: