Friday, January 29, 2010

Master Gardening classes have begun for me!

I started my Master Gardening classes last week. Today was the 4th class. These are a few pictures of the flowers we cut up in our 2nd class on Botany last week. 
 alstroemeria - peruvian lilies - as we know, one of my favorites but I only have pink here at home.

Which are blooming beautifully in the house right now. Another one is resting in the garage.
  I'll post more information as I have time. I'm sure it will help me retain all of the interesting and valuable information I am learning.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cookies and Homework

Between making desserts for church and school events, we have homework and dress up days at the schools. This is all a lot of work for the mother! It's all fun and fortunately, I have had the time to do it. The desserts have been nothing extraordinary but I heard no complaints. They were all tasty and sweet and here is a sampling of some of them.

Using the Land O'Lakes Best Ever Butter Cookies recipe, I cut some gingerbread man shapes and outlined them quickly with some squeeze gel tubes to decorate.  I also used one of the cans my MIL gave me of cookie mix she bought from a fundraiser.  

The cutout cookie recipe search was something I did a few years back. I tried a number of sugar cookie, cut out recipes from my recipe books and binders and finally found one that was easy to work with from the rolling pin to the cookie cutter and the taste.  Here we have some crosses using an old tin cross cookie cutter and hearts using a much newer Wilton comfort grip Valentine Day design.   

The chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles or jimmies, carried in a bottled water cardboard box, are also standard. Disposable carriers that won't be missed are best when donating to a school, community or church supper. 

We had Colonial Day, Twins Day, Crazy Hair Day and Pajama Day from Spirit Week activities at the school.  We borrowed a matching Red Sox Matsuzaka #18 tee shirt to twin a friend. 

Every seasonal barrette and bow that could fit.

Hair gel and spikes were a common sight.

Then we had a dress up day in preschool with the letter S. Had to wear a sweater, sweatpants, a scarf and silly socks. What a mismatch.  Also had to create a card stock paper filled with things that start with S.
Here we have soup, sugar substitute, spoon, silly squiggly straw, a sand sticker, and a salt shaker. 

Kind of glad the week is over. Report cards come out tomorrow. Wonder if I will get one?

Oh wait... one more project I need to help with for today's Daisy girl scout meeting. We have an assignment for World Thinking Day next month to bring in today. Our troop has Zimbabwe and we need a picture and information of children from there.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NYC at Christmastime

We spent some time in the Northeast after Christmas this year visiting family, friends and enjoying the sights and sounds of the City. It was a great time, especially getting all the little cousins together.

We stayed at a Homewood Suites in Princeton. Always an exceptional value for the area.  We met the extended family for dinner in a private room at Arthur's Steakhouse & Pub in North Brunswick. Monday was our NYC day, taking Suburban Transit from the East Brunswick towers' garage or Neilson Plaza into Port Authority. Can you say easy and cheap?  $4 to park sure beats city garage prices.

We did a lot of walking. Soaked in Times Square first and last.

Marveled at Toys R Us Times Square, buying a Yankees tee for my boy and a Hello Kitty in a NYC taxi tee for my girl and checking out all of the amazing Logo models.

Checked out all 9 floors of Macy's Herald Square.

Ate some dirty water dogs and pretzels while checking out the holiday window displays at Macy's, Lord & Taylor and then Saks.

Our main destination of course was to see "that big tree". We walked up 5th Ave until we got to Rockefeller Center.  It was certainly a jam of people. It was amazing and well worth it.

Walked through the NBC experience store and then realized we were getting hungry, as was everyone else in the area!  We walked around the corner to see Radio City since we had taken the kids to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular touring show at JPJ Arena, they knew what it looked like. We then headed into Saint Patrick's Cathedral. We were a few minutes early for the 5:30 Mass for Feast of the Holy Innocents or Childermas.  I was in awe as always at the architecture and the solemnity in the midst of the chaos of the masses of tourists walked through, us included this time.

My son decided he needed a toilet after we were in there for awhile so off he and I went in search of one. As fortune had it, we were led to Olympic Tower, the Onassis building, which was the ultimate find for more than one reason. We wound up going back to get the rest of our group and ate at the Atrium Cafe. I had a Mythos and Moussaka. Both very good. I'm there again next time I'm in the area and need to start trying new recipes. 

Our walk back down 7th was quicker than I thought it would be. As we turned the corner on 42nd St nearing the Port Authority terminal on 8th, I took my gulp of Manhattan air. Until we meet again.