Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am interrupting my "Meet The Authors" posts to share some Thanksgiving moments.  My son-in-law, Adam, took over the kitchen, which is a good thing!  Yesterday he made a brine and soaked the turkey overnight with all kinds of seasoning.  This morning it went into the Nesco roaster.   His next treat was making a sausage stuffing that was so good!  Wonderful aromas wafted through the house!
The kids couldn't wait until Aunt Becky and Uncle Barry arrived
Becky made a family favorite and tradition - Butternut Cake.  This cake is made with a special vanilla and is to die for!  It is a rich, dense cake that needs no icing.  Man, is it good! Because the boys can't eat the cake, we made yummy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies yesterday.  They ate the cookies with an awesome ricotta cappucino mousse that Annisa made.  Wow!  That mousse is definitely a new family favorite!
After turkey and all the trimmings, it was time to play some games!  Jen led the kids in a rousing game of "You Gotta Be Kidding!"  I love hearing the kids laugh.  It is such a silly game and they had so much fun playing it!
Little Robert Dixon is such a pleasant little boy.  He is just fascinated by his great-grandmother!  I believe he stole her heart!
 Robert Dixon and his sister, Sasha, share a very special bond.  He's quite the snuggler!
We wish your family a blessed Thanksgiving!  We are so thankful for living in the United States of America, for our brave military men and women, our friends, and family.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meeting the Authors - Part 1

This past Thursday, Becky, Barry, and I headed to Philadelphia for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual convention, which was held in Philadelphia this year.  The only time we get to go to these events is when they are close by and this year was extra special because the two of us were the Co-Chairs of Food and Beverage.  This means that we got to put together a sub-committee of teachers from all over the state to plan seven luncheons ranging from 80 people to over 600 people in attendance.  We have been working almost a year in the planning process.  It was an honor to be involved with wonderful teachers who pulled together and made the convention a success.  Part of the fun of these conventions in addition to the incredible workshops is exploring the exhibit hall filled with vendors - publishing companies, educational companies, etc.  Many of the publishers bring their authors to the event and we got to meet them and get their  books autographed.  Over the course of the next few days, I will share photos of some of the authors we met.  The first is Donna Jo Napoli.  I recently read her book, Stones in Water, about a boy caught in a war he hates. She signed her new book The Smile  for me.
Kathryn Lasky is a prolific author who has written an amazing number of picturebooks, young adult fiction, adult fiction, and non-fiction.  She autographed Wolves and Beyond for Aidan.  He will love it!
This man is an illustrator and his artwork is gorgeous!  I can't remember his name and I already wrapped the book, God's Promise, for Clara for Christmas.Jennifer and Matthew Holm create BabyMouse graphic novels for young readers.  They are done in pink, black, and white, and are absolutely adorable!  Sasha and Clara are getting these books for Christmas!
Dave Levithan's latest book, Will Grayson, has not even been published yet!
Climbing the Stairs is Padma Venkatraman's first novel, although she has written poetry, picture books, and middle grade fiction.  I can't wait to read it!
The last novelist for Meet the Authors - Part 1 is Jane Yolen.  Probably her most famous novel is The Devil's Arithmetic.  Briar Rose is another popular novel that has received literary acclaim.  She autographed one of her latest, Dragon's Heart, for us. It was such an honor meeting her.
All of the authors we met were so approachable, warm, and gracious.  Meet more authors in a few days!  Man, do I have a lot of reading to do!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Brass Hussy GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Brass Hussy GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!
What a fun shop!  The squirrel necklace is just too cute!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Few thoughts . . .

I am sitting here laughing hysterically at the "Big Bang Theory" on TV.  Never watched the show until recently - thanks for sharing this incredibly funny show with me Beckster!    I just have two more teaching days this week because on Thursday I leave for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual convention in Philadelphia!  It will be four intensive days of workshops and special events, including meeting Julie Andrews - yes that Julie Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, Joyce Carol Oates, and many more famous authors, who will be speaking, presenting workshops, and doing book signings.  Becky and I are the national co-chairs of all of the Luncheon events. Our sub-committee chairs have done an outstanding job preparing for their respective events.  I will have lots of pictures and info to share with you next week!

Can you believe that it will soon be Thanksgiving?  I can't wait to have the entire family together to share thanks for our many blessings.  Weather permitting, we plan on having the six grandchildren's picture taken for our holiday cards the Friday following  Thanksgiving and on Saturday we will celebrate Kari's third birthday!  Whew! It will be a blast!  More pictures to share!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Juvenile Diabetes and Scrapbooking

On Saturday, October 24th, Jennifer, Annisa, Becky, and I hosted our Third Annual Crop for a Cure to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  The backs of this year's T-shirts read:  "Scrapbookers don't lie; they embellish."  Cute, huh!
Scrapbookers come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and even Delaware!
The Central Presbyterian Church  generously provided us with a wonderful space that enables us to provide lots of room for our scrappers.  This year we had 64 scrappers!
The inspiration for this event made a special appearance for the first time!  Aidan and Ryan, my grandsons with diabetes, stopped by and even pulled some of the winning doorprize numbers.
Through the generosity of our donors, like Patti McCann, who donated her handcrafted jewelry as silent auction and cash and carry items, we raised $3265.00, our highest total ever!
We also were blessed with meal donations from Chambersburg Subway and through the efforts of Martha Mongold, our evening meal was provided by numerous businesses from Hagerstown. Brenda Geiman  - thanks for the great ice tea and coffee all day to keep us going!  Tastefully Simple provide delicious snacks!
More than thirty area businesses and individuals donated silent auction and doorprizes.  Thanks to Jody Brechbill, Stampin Up and Shelly Marangoni, Creative Memories for being our on-site vendors.  Our community businesses and the scrapbooking community are so generous and caring.  I wish I could list them all.
These three smiling faces are our top grand prize award winners!
 Adriane is beaming over her silent auction win!  A brand new Cricut Expression!  Woo Hoo!Karen had her heart set on this necklace and was the winning bidder.
One of the biggest bidding wars of the day was over this Vera Bradley bag donated by the Gift Enclosure.  It was fun watching the excitement over this one!
Who can resist Boyds Bears!  This trio found a good home with Muriel!
Thank you to all of our scrapbookers and donors for helping us fund a cure for Juvenile Diabetes.  It was amazing to talk with so many people who attended the crop who had family members, friends, neighbors with diabetes or who even had it themselves.  We look forward to our February Love Crop.  We are opening the crop for all crafters - knitters, crocheters, jewelry makers, etc.  More fun, fellowship,  and  funds raised for JDRF!  Hope you can join us!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Halloween is so much fun!  How appropriate that Robert Dixon be a cow!  For those who follow this blog and don't know - his daddy is a large animal vet - cows are his specialty!
Little Miss Clara is  Alice in Wonderland.  She sure does look like Alice, doesn't she?  And Sasha is a fairy princess complete with a skirt that lit up!  I think she also liked it because it is her favorite color - blue!
Annisa did an amazing job with the girls' face painting!   

While the girls had fun getting candy and other treats, I think Robert Dixon finally realized he was being left out of the treats or else he was tired of his cow suit!
In a few more days I will post photos of the Crop For A Cure from last Saturday!