Saturday, January 30, 2010

School's Out

We took advantage of no school on Friday and went skiing with the girls. Several friends were up there and the girls had a great time.
Here is everyone coming down to the skier-cross course. From top to bottom: Hannah, Ben, Ally, Paige, Kirk, Maren.
Lunch in the Lodge.
Our friend Jessamyne just learned to ski this year and did a great job keeping up with the girls.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Favorite

I think I have a new favorite in my collection of chocolate desserts. I made this for a staff birthday at the office today. The birthday girl requested something without flour and I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. Delicious! Here is the recipe...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book Club

Here is my favorite read of 2009...

And here is the book club where I get to share my favorite reads (thanks to Jeanne for the photo)...

We are having our first annual (hopefully to be repeated) January Best Reads & Fondue party. As you can see, it's a great looking and, more importantly, incredibly intelligent, witty and well read group of friends. We have been meeting for four years now and we have developed a sort of free form book club. We occasionally have a monthly theme, but we never choose just one book to read. Everyone comes ready to discuss their read from the previous month and hear about everyone else's. Sometimes we even get talked into trying something out of our comfort zone (that would be non-fiction for me). After we get our book discussion out of the way we save plenty of time to discuss recent weddings, ask 'why is my child doing this' questions, and laugh about current events. What started out as an enrichment activity has developed into a great group of women who look forward to meeting and talking every month.

Oh yeah... my favorite read this past year was The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsglover. The story was narrated by the wife and four daughters (sound familiar?) of a Baptist minister (not so familiar) that takes his family to The Congo for a year long mission. Their lives, relationships and views of the world are forever changed. It broadened my horizons and gave me a lot to think about. The writing was witty and clever. I listened to most of the book on audio CD and highly recommend it as it helps the characters to really come alive. If you are interested in a good read, try it and enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Woot Woo Hannah!

Introducing the Lake Pend Oreille School District 4th Grade spelling bee winner...
Hannah Davidson
As the competition began Paige commented - 'Mom, this is great! It's just like Dancing with the Stars. They have judges with a table and papers and everything!'. Hannah out spelled 13 other 4th graders from around the school district. When it came down to the last few spellers, she got stuck on RECYCLABLE, but the other remaining 4th graders also missed their words. When it came down to the final two Hannah was neck and neck with Sam. But in the end Hannah came out ahead. She won on the word BEIGE. She said she knew how to spell it because she had read it many times in her horse books where they describe the color of the horses. Just goes to show you the best preparation for a spelling bee is lots of reading! Hannah now goes onto the Regional Spelling Bee in Coeur d'Alene on March 20th. I'm sure we'll be practicing lots of spelling words between now and then! If I ever figure out how to download my video, I'll post a video clip.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

B-E-E

video

On Friday, Hannah and one fellow classmate won their 4th grade school spelling bee. She will continue onto the District competition next Saturday. Way to go Hannah!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday Maren! I can't believe you are already FIVE years old.
Time has flown since you came to us on a stormy January evening. You are so lovely with your beautiful skin and your thick, full-of-body auburn hair. I love the way you show all of your feelings in your face. You have some of the greatest expressions which makes you extremely photogenic.
And even though sometimes I ask for a little 'quiet time', I love that you are constantly chatting with me, asking questions, and telling me about your day. 'My little helper' is a good description of you - as you are always asking what you can help me bake or cook or clean. I will miss you when you go off to Kindergarten this fall. But you are my child that is the most ready and eager to spend the day actively engaged in projects and learning. I am so glad to have you as my daughter. This next year will be fun to watch as you continue to grow and change.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Training

If you look at the month of January on the calendar, what does it bring to mind?? Possibly some skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowman building, etc. Maybe even Martin Luther King? At least, those are the things I think of. So, when my running buddy told me it is time to start a training schedule for a half-marathon in May, I was a little shocked. Running - in January??? How odd.
But she was right. If you look at our training schedule and count backwards from May 15th (the date of the Windermere Marathon in Spokane) you realize that week 1 training starts THIS WEEK.
It is too slick and icy in Sandpoint to run outside (at least early in the morning), so I am left my only option - the dreaded tread mill. This morning I ran an hour interval run at the Gym. Not bad, but I sure hope the ice melts before those long runs appear on the schedule!
If anyone is interested in running with me - check out the Windermere Marathon in Spokane. It would be great to have you join us!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mint

I don't typically make New Years Resolutions. But since it is a new year and I'm in the cleaning and organizing mode, I have decided it's time to get back on track of keeping track. Of our finances, that is.
I like to know where our money is coming from, where it's going and what it is doing for us. In the past, I have used several programs including Quicken and Microsoft Money. I wasn't totally happy with either, but they did the job. Microsoft Money is no more and Quicken seems to have gone online. So I have been trying out different options to see what is out there in this modern age of technology.
I think I've found something that I might actually like. It's not tasty like Thin Mints (Yummy!), but it has the same great name. Mint.com offers a free online financial management service.
Pros:
  • It's simple to set up (if you have online access to all of your financial accounts).
  • It updates every time you log on - giving you a very current financial picture.
  • The spending analysis and budgeting tools are simple, but easy to tweak to your needs.
  • It remembers transactions and automatically fills in repeat transactions. It will even let you set up rules for certain transactions which saves lots of time when you go to categorize everything.
  • It's FREE! Plus no software upgrades every year.
Cons:
  • You can split budget categories in a transaction, but it is a little clumsy and time consuming.
  • Well, I've only actually come up with one con so far. But I've only been using it for a few weeks. So I'm sure I'll have something to add after I spend a little more time getting to know it's quirks.

So, if you are in need of a little financial organization you may want to check out Mint.com and see if it's as appealing to you as it is to me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hair Clips

What do you get when you combine a creative aunt, four nieces, ribbons and hair? The cutest hair clips, of course! Aunt Verna came for a visit and brought her hair clip craft box. With an 18 year old daughter (too old and cool for hair clips) and four sons, Verna had to come all the way to Sandpoint to get some girly crafts done. My girls were in heaven. They are simple and easy. Here's how: You will need need:
  • Glue gun
  • Metal hair clips (she got hers at Sally Beauty Supply)

  • Ribbon (width of hair clips)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Flowers (Verna used scrapbooking flowers)
  • Brads (also scrapbooking supplies)
Here's how you do it: Figure out your color scheme, ribbon and flower choice -
Measure and cut 6 3/4" length of ribbon (length may vary with hair clip) -
Tuck one end of the ribbon inside of the clip - Run a bead of glue over the top of the clip and wrap the ribbon around -
Turn clip over. Run another bead of glue along other side and wrap again - Open up clip. Run a bead of glue along the inside and fold last free piece of ribbon onto the glue -
Voila - the clip is now covered. Put a bead of glue on top and attach flower -
Wait a minute till it dries and... Beautiful!

Nativity

Yes, I know, Christmas is over. But I love my house filled with Christmas decorations. I love the tree, the lights in the windows, the stockings on the mantel. I am always reluctant when New Years arrives and I feel that pressure to put everything away. I think - maybe if I leave everything up just a little longer, those great feelings of Christmas will continue.
Well, today Christmas is officially over at the Davidson's. I am determined to take everything down, get everything put away, tidy up and move on to the new year.
2009 was the year of the Nativity. We have several new nativity sets at our house and I have really enjoyed them this year. I thought I'd share some with you. Santa brought this one to Izzy. It saw lots of playtime from all of the girls and has quickly become a favorite...
This Mama says... nativity collection came from my Mom. Each person received a different piece for their Christmas gift. I thought it was a great gift idea and we all love our own special part of the nativity.
This was a new nativity set I purchased at an after Thanksgiving day sale. I love the pastel colors and the silver trim. The figures are quite tall and have a beautiful form.

This special nativity was a gift from Aunt Betsy back when Hannah was a baby. It is hand made and so special. The figures have seen lots of love over the years. That's why the shepherd girl doesn't have any hair, the baby Jesus isn't wrapped up quite right and bits and pieces of the clothing has gone missing or been interchanged. It has been well loved and well used. Thank you Betsy!

And finally, the classic Willow Tree nativity. This was our first real nativity set and I still love it.