Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Family Favorite Cut-Out Cookies

It's getting closer and closer to Christmas, and that means baking! Cut - out cookies are a lot of fun to make and very easy so we made some recently! Here is the recipe;
                                    Family Cut-Out Cookies                                        
1 C. butter, softened                                                1 egg
1 (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened                             1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. sugar                                                             3 C. flour
Mix all cookie ingredients except the flour. Beat at a medium speed 3-4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour. Mix well. Place dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to 1/4 in. thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 6-7 minutes. Makes 8 dozen cookies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Snow!

It has snowed a lot recently, and now we have piles of snow everywhere! These pictures are from yesterday, when we were getting ready to hop in the car and drive to a piano recital.

Fun in Chicago

Every year in December, we make a girl trip to Chicago. This trip involves shopping, laughing, good food, and (occasionally) round about ways of getting places. Here are some pictures from our recent trip (we got back this past Saturday night).

Anthony's 5 Year Old Sibling

As I have previously mentioned, Mom frequently visits Half Price Books. One afternoon, she picked up a copy of A Child's Garden of Verses. Inside this book was a handwritten note by a young child. It is too adorable, so I just have to post it (complete with spelling and grammatical errors!).

My brother Anthony can read book now, but he won't read any to me. He plays checkers with Bruce from school. But when I want to play he says Go away or I'll clobber you. I let wear my Snoopy sweat shirt, but he won't let me borrow his sword. Mother say deep down in his heart Anthony loves me. Anthony says deep down in his heart he thinks I stink. Mother says deep deep down in his heart, where he dosn't even no it, Anthony loves me. Anthony says deep deep down in his heart he still thinks I stink. When I'm six I'll fix Anthony. When I'm six a dog will follow me home, and she'll beg for me and roll over and lich my face. If Anthony tries to pet her, she'll give him a bite. When I'm six Anthony will have the German measles, and my father will take me to a baseball game. Then Anthony will have the mumps, and my mother will take me to the flower show. Then Anthony will have a virus, and my grandfather will take me to the movies. I won't have to save popcorn for Anthony unless I want to. When I'm six we'll have a skipping contest and I'll skip faster. Then we'll have a jumping contest and I'll jump higher. Then we'll do eeny meeny miney-mo and Anthony will be o-u-t. He'll be very m-a-d. When I'm six I'll read The new york Times. Anthony will still be reading ABC Who are you voting for Anthony? I'll ask him.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The First Snow of the Season

It's officially December. I can tell because it snowed for the first time all day today (not counting a few slight flurries). This made everyone in our family very happy! Joshua was outside at 8:00 this morning, tramping around in the snow. I couldn't blame him, for if I was 8, that would be the very first thing I did when I woke up too! I like lists (I'm guessing you've already figured this out), so here is a list of today's happenings;
  • A trip to Ohio to pick up a pedal harp for Moxie
  • Playing in the snow
  • Putting up Christmas decorations
  • Eating breakfast in the snow (Qixi did, at least)
  • Lounging around at home
  • Playing Christmas songs on various musical instruments
  • Thinking about the upcoming school week 
  • Excitedly preparing for our trip to Chicago
Have a very merry day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Conversation with Havalah

The week has flown by! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with our family in Missouri! A couple days ago, I asked Havalah some Thanksgiving - related questions. Her answers were interesting, so I thought I'd write them down.
Me: Who were the Pilgrims?
Havalah: They lived where the Indians lived, in the woods, and they were hiding from the Indians 'cause they were scared of them. The Pilgrims told all Squanto's friends that they were nice, and then they trapped the Indians and took them to where the Pilgrims lived.
Me: *thinking* they trapped the Indians?
Havalah: (continuing to speak) Squanto went to his Mom and Dad, but he wasn't human anymore, he was an Indian.
Me: What's an Indian like?
Havalah: They wear a feather, and they sing when people come to visit them. People think Indians are nice, but they aren't. They hide in trees. The Pilgrims got them food, but it didn't taste good.

This conversation lasted much longer, but I'm not going to write it all down. Havalah kind of rambles when she talks, and it's hard to keep track of. Besides, I can't really read all the notes I made while she was talking to me. They just look like a bunch of scribbles. :D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

I'm sure everyone is getting ready for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a big holiday for our family because instead of all the extended family gathering together at Christmas time, we all get together and celebrate Thanksgiving together. Every year, Thanksgiving starts on Thursday and ends late Sunday night for us. It's a fun-filled four days. Each family member pitches in and creates a special dish to share. On the list to get baked this weekend?
Cookies (4 batches)
Pumpkin roll
Pumpkin pies
Pecan pies
Cranberry salad
Sweet potatoes
Green bean casserole

I can't wait to taste all the goodies!

Monday, November 22, 2010


If people ask me,
I always tell them:
"Quite well, thank you, I'm very glad to say."
If people ask me,
I always answer,
"Quite well, thank you, how are you today?"
I always answer,
I always tell them,
If they ask me
Politely . . .
                               I wish
                                              that they wouldn't.

- A. A. Milne

Friday, November 19, 2010

Persimmon Pudding

Yes, you read the title right. I did a double take when I saw persimmon pudding advertised at a family owned pie and egg shop, but thought nothing of it.
That is, until Mom brought it home for dessert. When I think of persimmons, I usually think back to the time when I was about nine years old, and picked a persimmon off a tree and stuck it into my mouth. I instantly regretted the decision, because the persimmon was not ripe. Unripe persimmons taste AWFUL! I never ate a persimmon after that.
So, Mom brings persimmon pudding home and dishes out a spoonful to us all to eat, declaring that all of us have to try at least one bite. Apprehensively, I stick the spoon into my mouth to take the one bite I have to take . . . and find that it tastes delicious! We still have some leftover, so I think I'll eat some more this afternoon . . . and encourage you to try some too!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Last week, Ian was driving us home from Walmart.  When coming out of the parking lot, he saw a man crossing the street, and Ian said, "Hey, that's Bob!"
Esther took this literally, so she rolled down her window and yelled as we passed the man, "G'bye Bob!"
'Bob' started and turned to stare at us with a frown as we passed him. That was when Esther realized Ian didn't really know that guy.
Let me just tell you that some yelling ensued on the way home. (I want to assure you, however, that no one got hurt :D)

The Thanksgiving Story

As it is November, our family is starting to get in the Thanksgiving spirit. Recently, Dad read to us a book about the first Thanksgiving. As it is a familiar story, Dad would often pause in the midst of a passage and wait for us to supply the missing word. So it would go something like this -
Dad: While the settlers were exploring the woods, they came upon an Indian. His name was -
Us Kids: Samoset!
Dad: Samoset told the Pilgrims that the Indians wanted to make friends with the white people. He also told them there was another Indian who knew more English than he did. This Indian's name was -
Us Kids: Squanto!
After we'd got the name right (it was so easy because the story was so well known) Dad would continue reading. After reading a couple passages like this, it became a race to be the first person to get the name right. One incident went so . . .
Dad: Because the Indians and settlers wanted to be at peace, it was necessary to sign a peace treaty. William Bradford and Chief -
Esther (excitedly jumping up and down because she knew the answer) MASSACHUSETTS!

Reading the book came to a complete stop for a full five minutes because of all the laughter. Chief Massasoit, please accept our sincere apology for getting your name wrong. We assure you it won't happen again (maybe).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bonfires and Birthdays

A couple weeks ago our family decided to have a hot dog and s'mores roast. Mmmmmmmhmmm. Boy, was THAT amazing. There is something special about cooking food over a fire outside. It was a cold night but that was okay, we just hunched over some more and took on the odor of smoke;) After finishing our sticky snack -Havalah called them "smarshsmellows"- the older kids each carted on their back a younger kid and we raced up and down the sidewalk whooping and hollering. It was fun. (= Because that last part took up so much exertion, we all ended up laying on our backs looking up at the stars. But kids can never be still and before long a rough, tough, fend-for-yourself, game of wrestling came on. I barely made it out of their alive. *whew* Thinking about all the energy I expended that night makes me exhausted.

This past Saturday, Seth had his 12th birthday!!! He wasn't here, so, we celebrated it without him. Hehe. Naw, we're not that cruel, we waited until Sunday night when he came home. Because most of us are trying to stay away from dairy now, Seth requested chili and blackberry cobbler. We managed to make both of those items without using any dairy! Yay!
Although I enjoy a good chili, I must say the cobbler was AMAZING.
Seth is turning into quite a good looking young man, and although many young ladies may be swooning over him at the moment, I'm very happy to say that "His gate is still closed".*

I really haven't covered everything that has happened in the past couple of weeks but there shall be more posts to follow soon after.

*Inside joke;)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cafe Korea

Yesterday evening we ate at a new cafe that opened up in Fishers, Indiana. Mara heard about it after reading this article. The food was wonderful! Yes, we had a long wait because the cafe was busy, but it was well worth it. Cafe Korea is owned and operated by one family and when you order your food, they make it from scratch for you. We ate seafood pancake, shrimp and fruit tempura, soon tofu, teriyaki salmon, kimchee, yuk ke jang, and (of course) lots of white rice. We'll be sure to go back soon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The End of the Day

This is Qixi at the End of a Long Day
It was a Sad Day. She obviously doesn't look happy about what went on.
This is Qixi again. She doesn't look quite so Sad.
Oh look! Sad Qixi seems to be brightening up!
Hmm.....Qixi definitely doesn't seem to be having a hard time in life right now.
Wait, what's this?
Hey! Who uploaded these???
Hurry, quick! Now's your time to laugh at her.
Okay time's up. She's pretending like she doesn't know what is going on.
Yup, she's pretending alright
And now, she is back to normality.
The End

This was taken a year ago. Thanks Esther for the photos!!!!

My Family

You know you've done something of significant abnormality when your Grandmother is staring at you with a look of unbelievable disgust. Hey!
 it wasn't that strange. I was just dancing.

Walk like Groucho Marx for at least one full minute without breaking into laughter. It's one of Moxie's favorite pastimes. Or, I guess you could just do the whole mirror scene:)

Qixi: I have to go pee.
Esther: Let's practice together.

Loss of Time:
Joshua: Has it been an hour yet?
Qixi: Since what?
Joshua: Since I came home from Gabe's house.
Qixi: Well, when was that?
Joshua: I dunno, maybe 20 minutes ago.

Havalah: I lost my time!
Qixi: Your what?
Havalah: My time, I mean.....what's it called again?
Qixi: Oh, you mean your watch?
Havalah: Yeah, that's it(=

After much talk about John Wayne, pseudonyms, and how people change their name to protect themselves (like for instance the Jews), Esther yelled out "John Wayne was a Jew?!?!?!?!"
We made sure to correct that statement before anything was spread around;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Little Girl and the Turkey

I was reading some Thanksgiving poems and I came upon this one which I thought was too sweet to keep to myself;

The Little Girl and the Turkey
The little girl said
As she asked for more:
"But what is the Turkey
Thankful for?"

                                                                                       -Dorothy Aldis                                                      

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Things

These links lead you to two things I found today that I absolutely adore;
Tea for Two

Hanging Tree Installation

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Half Price Books

Every other Wednesday, we have harp (Moxie) and piano lessons (Qixi and Moxie). While we are playing away on our instruments, Mom shops around.
She always ends up at Half Price Books.
And every time we get in the car, Mom says, "Guess what books I found?!"
We squeal, and then spend the ride home looking at the new books. Mom always visits the Nostalgic section, where she gets stuck looking at all the books, and eventually tears herself away an hour or two later and purchases a pile of books.
Being a book addict is fun, but it can get rather expensive. Some of the books Mom has found are;
Girl of the Limberlost
Les Miserables
Lorna Doone
Samantha at Coney Island and a Thousand Other Islands
Cheaper by the Dozen
Bells on their Toes

If you haven't read any of these books yet, check them out! They're all great!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


These are some things we want to do before autumn is over;
Taffy Pull
Apple Bobbing
Make Homemade Caramel Apples
Wax Leaves
Fly a Kite
Old Iron Works Days (This was accomplished by our family, however we were not able to attend) 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From a 4 Year Old's Perspective . . .

 . . . life is very interesting. Here's what age Havalah thinks everyone in our family is;
Dad - 52
Mom - 21
Rachel - 9
Mara - 25
Jonathan - 32
Ian - 23
Naomi - 12
Keturah - 13
Esther - 12
Seth - 11*
Joshua - 8*
Havalah - 4*

It made my day, listening to her talk!

*Havalah got these right!

My Baking List

Moxie and I loooooooove to bake. It is one of the few arts (besides folding clothes!) that I'm good at. During the season of Autumn I want to bake anything that catches my eye. The spices and colors of the foods inspire all kinds of things. Like, bobbing for apples;)

Lately I've been Tastespotting, and going through all our cookbooks to come up with new recipes to try. These are a few things I found and want to bake;

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka
Bosch Bread
Apple Turnovers
Pumpkin Roll
Apple Butter
Friendship Bread
Coconut Cream Pie
Beef Bourguignon 
Cinnamon Rolls 101
Homemade Glazed Doughnuts
Brown Butter Gelato
So, Tallyho!!! It's off to the kitchen we go!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Linens 'N' Things

My family is back home. How do I know?
1. There is certainly no need to be paranoid about the quiet anymore(don't ask).
2. Clothes, clothing, cloth, blankets, etc, etc, etc.
3. LOTS of it.

I've grown up folding clothes, and although it's not my favorite chore you can definitely find creative ways to pass the time. When I was little, I would pretend all the men in our family were soldiers. I stacked their piles on the outside edge of the couch so that they might fight bravely and fend off our foes. Often times, all the girl piles would have to run away and hide in caves, which meant they were always stationed on the seat of the couch. Ah! yes, tis true this is;)

Now when I fold clothes it often times is a good stress reliever. To me, folding them as close to perfection that I can get them is a sort of triumphant feeling because I know that it requires no great skill. It is a calming effect and they always smell faintly of lavender. Moxie can't quite understand why I insist on folding a whole weeks worth by myself sometimes, but it really is soothing to me.

Another reason why I fold clothes is because I'm angry at someone. Usually I give the clothes belonging to that person a good shaking out. I always do it with a stern face;)

And yet another reason I fold clothes is because everyone else is. Half the time the whole family gets involved and we end up stretching the folding time because of all the conversation and noise going on. Really, how can one be focused on finding a pair of mismatched socks when a fellow folder is telling their latest bathroom episode?

Thank you for bearing with me. If you were worried about only the men taking up arms to protect us women, don't worry, not that I've gotten older there is equality in the fighting(=
Grandma gave Mom a book that had been in the family for awhile. It had been given to our great, great, great aunt somewhere around the 1930's. The book is titled 'Shakespeare Birthday Text Book.'
Here is what is written for Moxie's Birthday;

July 29.
More inconstant than the wind who wooes
Even now the frozed bosom of the north,
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.
                                           Romeo and Juliet, Act i.

Qixi's Birthday;
August 20.
Chaste as the icicle
That's curdied by the frost from purest snow
And hangs on Dian's temple.
                    Coriolanus, Act v.

Is she not passing fair?
Two Gentleman of Verona, Act iv.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Poem

I was going through my journal today, and noticed a poem I had written awhile ago that I had completely forgotten about. I thought I'd jot it down here, even though it's nothing special. The reality is that I didn't know what to blog about, so I thought "Qixi, just write down the poem, and who cares what anyone thinks about it!"

I do things differently when I'm at home
Sometimes I pretend I'm visiting Rome

When close upon me there comes a menace,
I pretend I'm boating on the canals in Venice

To a friend who was leaving, I said "Goodbye"
Then to mask the pain, I pretended I was a caterpillar, turning into a butterfly

Once, someone gave me a rose,all pretty and red
But it died soon after I had gone to bed

When I wake up and the sky is gray,
I go back to bed and sleep until a sunny day

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

11 Things About Moxie

1. I was born at home
2. I am a Christian
3. I love to bake
4. My favorite flavor of ice cream is pumpkin
5. I play the harp
6. I would rather unload the dishwasher then fold clothes
7. "To Kill A Mockingbird" is my favorite book
8. I collect miniature tea sets
9. I prefer salt over pepper
10. I love to travel
11. Roller coasters that go upside down give me a special thrill :D

Monday, October 4, 2010

Home Alone . . .

Well, not quite. Our brother Ian is with us. (Does he count?)
We had a lovely weekend, though it was fast-paced and went by like a blur. The wedding was wonderful and we saw a lot of people we haven't seen in a while (hello, Emerson!).
So . . . why are we home alone? Well, to put it simply, our family is on vacation, and we had some commitments this week we felt we couldn't miss, so we stayed home. The house is empty and quiet. Instead of the usual ten people occupying it, there is only three. What a big difference!
I'm sure we'll have a great big party every night. :D
This morning for breakfast we wanted something quick and easy so we made biscuits and baked apples. It was delicious. Here is the recipe for the baked apples;                          
                                              Baked Apples - Susan Branch

2 tablespoons oats                                           pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar                                pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon chopped walnuts                            dash of lemon juice
4 teaspoons soft butter                                     2 tablespoons apple juice
2 apples
Wash and core the apple, being careful not to break through the bottom. Mix together all the rest of the ingredients except for the apple juice. Fill the apple with the mixture and put it in a shallow baking dish. Pour the apple juice around the apples and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves two.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I'm afraid we'll be saying goodbye for a couple days. We are leaving tomorrow morning for a wedding. The agenda is as follows;

Thursday - travel 4 hours to St. Louis, visit the London Tea Room, head over to the Galleria Mall, and then another 2 hours to our sisters' house for a visit.

Friday - hanging out with people we haven't seen for several months

Saturday - The Wedding

Sunday - Church, then traveling home

Have a great weekend!
Qixi and Moxie

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Nice to Have Neighbors

Yesterday evening, in the middle of making apple pie (yum!) Qixi realized she didn't have any flour, so she quickly ran across our small yard into our neighbors' yard and borrowed some flour. (she asked, of course!)
The pies turned out wonderfully, and we were all very thankful for our very good friends, and next door neighbors, the Armstrong's. 

Quelqu'un M'a Dit

Quelqu’un m’a dit (Carla Bruni) – translation

I’m told that our lives aren’t worth much,
They pass like an instant, like wilting roses.
I’m told that time slipping by is a bastard
Making its coat of our sorrows.
Yet someone told me…
That you still loved me
Someone told me…
That you still loved me.
Well ? Could that be possible?
I’m told that fate makes fun of us,
That it gives us nothing and promises everything,
When happiness seems to be within our reach,
We reach out and find ourselves like fools.
Yet someone told me…
That you still loved me
Someone told me…
That you still loved me.
Well ? Could that be possible?
Well ? Could that be possible?
So who said that you still loved me?
I don’t remember any more, it was late at night,
I can still hear the voice, but I can no longer see the face,
“He loves you, it’s secret, don’t tell him I told you.”
You see, someone told me
That you still loved me
Did someone really tell me?
That you still loved me
Well, could that be possible?
I’m told that our lives aren’t worth much,
Passing in an instant, like wilting roses,
I’m told that time slipping by is a bastard,
Making its coat of our sadnesses.
That you still loved me
Someone told me…
That you still loved me.
Well ? Could that be possible?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Quotes

'Food for thought requires a mind with teeth' - Two Princesses of Bamarre

'It really is a hard life. Men will not be nice to you if you are not good-looking and women will not be nice to you if you are.' - The Man in the Brown Suit

" . . . but I'll try and find a more agreeable piece of news . . . . Old Margery is dead. " - Wives and Daughters

'Small applause is better than no applause, even when it is a little Lacking In Smack.' - Eeyore

'Sam is an excellent fellow, and would jump down a dragons throat to save Frodo if he did not trip over his own feet first.' - The Fellowship of the Ring

'If there is anything disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.' - Persuasion 

Friday, September 24, 2010

11 Things about Qixi

Hyvää huomenta! 

1. I live for my Savior Jesus Christ
2. I love going barefoot in the summer
3. My middle name starts with the letter 'G'
4. I loath spiders
5. I prefer pies to cakes
6. The color yellow makes me happy
7. I love dancing in the rain
8. I want to travel the world someday
9. One of my favorite books of the Bible is Pslams
10. I have a stubby nose
11. I love the game Probe

The above is Finnish for "good morning".

Pumpkin Cookies

Last night, in the spirit of autumn, we made pumpkin cookies. They turned out very well. Unfortunately, there are no pictures. However, here is the recipe, which is from a friend of the family, Mrs. Emmett.
4 C. sifted flour                                       1 C. butter
2 tsp. baking soda                                   2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt                                              2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon                                       2 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. nutmeg                                       2 C. either raisins, or chocolate chips
                                                               (opt. 2 C. pecans or walnuts)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift flour with soda, salt, and spices and set aside. Cream butter with sugar until light, add vanilla and pumpkin and mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients, then stir in raisins, chocolate chips, or nuts (or all!). Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets and bake 15 minutes until lightly browned. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

About us

Who we are; Two sisters


Why we started the blog; For the fun of it
What we will be blogging about; Anything and everything