Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Van Straalen's!

The Christmas cards are out and even the doggies sent one this year. Wishing you the Wonders of His love this Christmas and a very blessed 2011!
Thank-you for stopping by!
Card designs by the amazing Hanajo:)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas treat idea and Tolo...

Another fun and busy Saturday in December. Hana went to Tolo with Josh- Carlie and Zach had dinner with them before here. What a nice bunch of kids:) That day I also made Peppermint Brownie Bites. Janice told me how and I had to try them. Just stick a peppermint kiss in the brownie upside down when you take them out of the oven. I frosted them and sprinkled on some crushed candy canes. They where a hit at the Dykstra party and so I'm taking them to Enumclaw this Saturday. Let the parties begin! I was trying to achieve BOKEH(In photography, bokeh (pronounced /boʊˈkeɪ/) is the blur,or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light) with my tree lights!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tree, Cookies and the lighted parade!

It must be the first of December. Whoa! Carlie and Hana made cookies and they were delicious. I wasn't sure about the color of the frosting but Carlie said it looked vintage. I liked that:) I did not mean to copy The Pioneer Women. She just happen to have the same idea:)
We used the The Betty Crocker Classic Sugar Cookies Recipe. Then we had to get a tree and David A showed up just in time to help. We went to Mantheys Tree Farm on the Axton Rd. TONS of nice trees! As you can see the tree did not get decorated and is still not decorated. UGH! Before we knew it -it was time to head to the parade. We always go to Grams house on front street. Auntie Geri brought the cocoa this year. It was cold but we managed a few pictures. We left the shutter on the camera open longer to get those shots. It was a great family day.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My office...

Arty frog and a painting by Hana. Old cameras and photos.
I just made this arrangement from the picture I took and old frames. A trip to
Treasury of Memories for a canvas and Micheals for Martha Stewart Crafts decoupage glue and sealer.
I paint the sides to make it look like a wrap.
Yep there is always a doggie in my office.

I also just printed up a couple pictures that the Cowbelly took for Eddie and Charlie.

This board just has a few things that make me smile. I know my office doesn't belong in a magazine but it is me:)
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The art of photography and Sadie...

We have a new addition to our clan for now. We call her our foster-dogger. Sadie is a tripod(yes three legs). We took her in for some friends. She is the sweetest doggie. Not very graceful but she can run the hill with the rest of them.
I just love fall. The crisp cool air and the beautiful colors. It's glorious! I took some pictures of Levi's bowl with an apple on a chair and then had some fun with editing it. Love the color! It's fun to see what can be done to a picture. You can certainly make art-maybe I will make a large print for my house:)
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soups on!

I have no idea when the first time I made this soup was. But over the years I have morphed the recipe so much that I think it might just be my own.

Italian Bean Soup
1 tube Jimmy dean sausage (the original recipe calls for wheatberries-but I thought it needed meat instead)
brown it in in a skillet
and then add
1 mediam carrot minced
1 rib of celery minced
1 onion minced
OR just buy the Mirepoix (Mirepoix is the French name for a combination of onions, carrots, and celery) at trader joes in the fresh produce-a real time saver!
Sautee that up for a little while and then dump it in your crock pot.
Then add to crock pot:
I cup dried navy beans (I put them in three cups of water overnight)
4 Large garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cans of diced tomatoes with basil
1 can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
add water as needed
And just today I added that Red pepper tomoato soup in the box that you can get at trader joes, Costco or the Green Barn. I just wanted it to be alittle creamier. About half the box.
Garnish with cilantro, sourcream and cheddar cheese.
So basically I took a pretty healthy recipe and made it yummy!
Let me know if you try it:)
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Great News!!!

Remember this? Well today we got great news! Levi and Hana retook the High School Proficiency Exam or HSPE this summer. And well they not only passed but passed with FLYING COLORS! Both scored in the highest level. We are so proud of them! Soon we will receive Levi's diploma and Hana can relax and enjoy her senior year. But It is making me wonder about the efficiency of the proficiency test. I hope our government does away with such tests. No one test should have that kind of power! Thank-you to all of you prayed and had such kind words of caring for Hana and Levi.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall is in the air and that's OK with me.

I took a walk to the green house and saw some amazing colors. Did anyone buy mums this year? I think they are pretty.

Dusty miller.. the only living thing from summer...
The grapes are growing and the view from the top is spectacular!
One incredibly handsome and happy dog!

Keep this little guy in your prayers. He's my super hero:)
Thanks for stopping by!