Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Her Christmas Questionnaire 2014

One year ago today, Sean posted his answers to the 2013 Christmas Questionnaire. I followed up with mine on Thursday of that week. It was a lot of fun and we liked reading each other's answers. I found out that Michelle, who blogs at Fabulous in First, is doing this link-up again. I will be answering the questions today and Sean will answer them tomorrow. Enjoy!




1. When do you decorate?
Most years, we decorate the whole house the weekend of Thanksgiving. We put up the tree first and then add our other items to the rest of the house. This year, we put up the tree Thanksgiving weekend, but the other decorations were put up this past weekend. Things just got so busy!

2. Elf or no elf?
We do not have an elf, but when we have kids I could see us having one. I joked with my 8th graders this year that they should have an elf to tell Santa all the things they were doing. They got really upset when I told them I was joking and I wasn't getting them an elf. Something to think about for next year!

3. Christmas cookies or no baking for you?
I love to bake, but not cookies. Cakes, brownies, and pies - that's what I like! Cookies are so tedious and I get very bored scooping them. My favorite thing to bake for Christmas is Brown Eyed Baker's Ho Ho Cake. It is delicious and a hit for everyone who tries it!

4. Favorite holiday tradition?
Decorating the house with Sean is a fun tradition. I love pulling out all the ornaments for the tree and walking down memory lane (more on that next week). I love spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my parents also. Christmas Eve is spent enjoying lasagna after church. On Christmas Day we spend the entire day together, enjoying each other's company and celebrating.

5. Favorite Christmas movie?
I don't watch a lot of Christmas movies. I have spent time watching some Hallmark channel movies this year and that has been fun. My favorite holiday movie would have to be the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Following closely behind would be The Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. My dad and I used to watch that every year on Christmas Eve and I loved that tradition (and movie!).


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6. Snow or no snow?
I would LOVE a white Christmas. I am in love with snow! We came close one year to having a white Christmas - it was a white boxing day. I think it would be cool!

7. Favorite Christmas song?
My favorite carol is "O Come All Ye Faithful", but I also love "Away in a Manger" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain". This morning I heard a new-to-me song on KLove by Hillsong United called "Peace Has Come". I fell in love at first listen and it is going to be playing a lot around our house this season.




8. Favorite gifts to give and get?
My favorite gifts to give - I love to give gifts that people didn't think of for themselves. For example, last year I got Sean a sewing machine. I knew he would never buy it for himself, but it was something he really wanted. He was so excited he started a quilt the very next day. I also love giving one of a kind or craft show gifts to people. They are unique and fun gifts to give. This Christmas I am most excited for my dad to open his gift. The look on his face will be great - I know it!
My favorite gifts to get - I get more out of the giving part of Christmas than the receiving, but I always love getting gifts that show that people thought about me and what I liked and picked something. Sean got me yarn last year in my favorite brand and a beautiful color. Perfect!

That was fun! Sean will have his turn tomorrow, so please tune in for that. For now, choose a question and answer it below or on Facebook. 

Happy Holidays,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

His and Her Moment of Silence

It seems like this morning's news was full of senseless violence and death. We are praying for the families of those who have been lost and praying for the world to begin to see that violence is not the answer and that innocence is something to be treasured, not destroyed.

Source

Please join us in praying for the families of:

Tori Johnson and Katrina Johnson, the manager and a barrister at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney, Australia who were killed during the hostage situation there on Monday.


The 126 people, mostly children, who were killed in the Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan.


The six family members who were killed by a lone gunman outside Philadelphia. He has not been caught and the area is on high alert.

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Our hearts and prayers are with the families and friends of all of these victims. 

Blessings,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Snapshots - Water fountain

Have you liked our "His and Her Hobbies" Facebook page? If not, click here!

Today we are linking up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy for Super Saturday Snapshots.


We decided to spend the day in Sydney last year so Amanda could see some of the sights and ride the ferries. We drove to Hornsby, which is on the northern edge of town to catch the train into the city. As we walked to the station we saw an interesting sculpture and took a few minutes to view it and to try and figure out what it was. 


It looked like a fancy water fountain when I first saw it.

This is one of two signs that explained what each part of the fountain did. It is actually a huge clock.

A close up of the top of the fountain.

Another sign explaining the other parts of the fountain. The stories behind each part is quite interesting.

The whole center part of the fountain rotate throughout the day and completes a circuit every 12 hours.

It was an interesting find as we headed to the railway station and unlike anything I have seen before. Have you seen anything like this before?


Friday, December 12, 2014

Her Top Five for Friday

Hi everyone! I know I have been pretty silent around here lately - shocking to those who know me for sure! I think they would argue that I don't know how to be silent. ;) I have had a lot going on with school, Arbonne (click here for more information on that - I am loving my second job!), and home. I promise that I am going to try to be a better blogger and get back to blogging regularly. Sean does much better than me and he posted two things this week. Click here to read about our stay at the Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas and here to read about all the amazing food he made for Thanksgiving - OMG! it was so good!

Because it is Friday - whooo hooo!! - I wanted to share our top five moments of the week. Here goes - 

1. Funny Kids
Eighth graders have the best personalities! I am loving all the little quirks that my students have this year. One that is pretty prevalent is that they like to make me laugh. For example - in the middle of Civics class on Wednesday, a student said:
"What do you call a deer with no eyes?" 
I said I didn't know and prepped myself for the punch line, because his buddy was already giggling.
"No eye-deer." 
Isn't that cute? He's also the student who showed me this picture last week and told me that it was his new motto for life...
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2. Two Weeks
I am so excited that Christmas is less than two weeks ago. I love the holiday season - the giving, the family time, the food. It's great! This season is going to be even more special, because the day after Christmas - two weeks from today! - Sean's dad and his wife are arriving for a one week visit. I am so excited! Sean's dad has not been here in a decade and his wife has never been to the States. This is going to be fun!
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3. Games at School
My students have iPads issued to them to use while they are here at school. They can't download any apps, but the county has filled them with awesome apps to use in all of their classes. I am loving all the new things we can do in class because of the iPads. One of the things I am loving most is the website Kahoot. Teachers can go in and set up multiple choice questions for the students to answer. As the questions are presented, students are awarded points based on how quickly they answer correctly. After each question a top 5 leaderboard appears. My kids are in love with this game! They don't even know they are learning, but I know it is helping them remember all the Civics stuff they have to know. Some of my lowest students are starting to show up on the leaderboard because the repetition of questions every day and the fact that they are so engaged in the activity is causing them to remember so much more! I love, love, love it! Here is a video I found on YouTube that shows a class using Kahoot. 


4. Coworker Chills
A coworker talked to me a few weeks ago about Sean making a quilt for her mom. She had some old cotton nightgowns that belonged to her grandmother. She asked Sean to make something with them. The quilt is beautiful and my coworker said she had chills when she saw it. Tune in tomorrow to see photos (Sean will post them for our Super Saturday Snapshots). 
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5. Twelve Days of Christmas
I am having an Arbonne sale - 20% off these twelve gifts that are perfect for anyone on your Christmas list. The last day to order and get the items by Christmas is Monday, December 15. The perfect thing about Arbonne - well one of the perfect things? The items will be shipped directly to you. Usually they arrive 4 days after I place the order. Let me help you check some people off your holiday list! There is more information about all of these products on my Facebook page - Amanda's Arbonne Adventure.


Thanks for checking in and hearing about our week. I hope your week was amazing and that your weekend is full of holiday cheer. Do you have any special holiday plans this weekend?

Happy Friday

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

His: Living in America - Thanksgiving

The turkey was the centerpiece of the meal and was so yummy!
Thanksgiving is without a doubt one of the most important holidays for most Americans. It is a time for families to come together, enjoy each other's company and enjoy a meal together. We did not celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia so this is a relatively new holiday for me.

We normally go over to Amanda's parents' house for Thanksgiving but we had our Thanksgiving meal at our home this year since they went to Amanda's sister's home in South Carolina to meet their brand new grandson. He was born 3 days before Thanksgiving so it was a good way for them to meet their grandson and have Thanksgiving with Amanda's sister which isn't always possible.

          Our plan was to cook the meal at our home and have one of Amanda's friends join us for Thanksgiving. Sadly Amanda got the flu the day before so we weren't able to host her friend. We thought that we may have to postpone the meal a day or two until Amanda felt well enough to enjoy it but thankfully she felt well enough to get out of bed. She also had an appetite so we decided to go ahead and cook the meal. Since Amanda didn't feel well enough to stand up for very long I took over the responsibility of cooking the different dishes we had planned. After 8 hours of preparation and cooking the Thanksgiving meal was complete and we enjoyed a wonderful meal together.



Our menu consisted of a Turkey, twice baked potatoes, stuffing, corn pudding, green bean casserole, home made bread rolls and

Stuffing, corn pudding, twice baked potatoes and green bean casserole.
 
Turkey, home made bread rolls and pumpkin pie

I am so thankful that Amanda was well enough to enjoy the meal as it is one of the days she looks forward to most each year. Being in charge of the food gave me a new found respect of how long it takes to prepare this meal and the work that goes into it. It was a very low key Thanksgiving for us but we both enjoyed it together.

How was your Thanksgiving?
















Monday, December 8, 2014

Travel Review: Tropicana, Las Vegas

There are a lot of hotels on the Vegas strip and they all vary in price and amenities. Prior to our trip there last year I spent many hours researching the different properties to see which one would be the best fit. My main requirements was a property on the Vegas strip, under $100 and had good reviews from previous travelers. I ended up choosing the Tropicana as it was close to many of the other casinos, was recently remodeled and had favorable reviews. 
The Tropicana is located on the southern end of the strip on the corner of Tropicana Ave and Las Vegas Blvd. On the other three corners of this intersection are the MGM Grand, Excalibur and the New York, New York. It was also close to the airport and a cab ride to or from the airport is about $12. Check in was a breeze and it was a short walk to the elevator and our room. This is not always the case with the bigger hotels as they have several towers and the lower priced rooms tend to be a good walk from the main entrance. The room was clean, well decorated and was well worth the money we had paid.

The casino floor was smaller than some of the other casinos we visited but it had plenty of slots and table games for you to play. Being a smaller casino it didn't have every slot game but it wasn't as crowded and you could easily go across the street if you wanted to have more variety.
The only down side was it was not that close to the more well known casinos such as Paris, Belliago and Ceasar's Palace. However it was within walking distance or you could take the monorail that was at the back of the MGM Grand across the street to most of the casinos further down the strip. 

I found the Tropicana to be a good value and a great option for those looking for a good but fair priced lodging option in Las Vegas. Its proximity to the airport, other casinos and clean rooms definitely outweigh the distance that it is from some of the other casinos. I would recommend this as an option and I would definitely stay there again.

Have you ever been to Vegas? If so which hotel/casino did you stay at?



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Snapshots: Bubble / Biscuit Quilt

Have you liked our "His and Her Hobbies" Facebook page? If not, click here!

Today we are linking up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy for Super Saturday Snapshots.


A few weeks ago I posted pictures of my first quilt that I made for my niece. I also mentioned that I was working on a bubble quilt for my nephew that was due this month. I finished the quilt last week but held off posting photos until the parents were able to see it first. Here are some of the pictures that I took of the quilt.


I made this rainbow pattern as it was requested by my sister in law. It creates a very bright and colourful quilt design. The finished quilt was 25" (63cm) X 45" (112cm)

A close up of the bubbles and the binding. I am still struggling to make the binding look perfect but that will come with practice.

I used a black fabric with coloured dots for the quilt back as it was a good contrast to all of the bright colours on the front of the quilt.

A baby's eye view of the quilt.

I had a lot of fun making this quilt as it seemed to go a lot quicker than the other quilt that I had made. It took a little while to make all of the puffs but once they were stuffed it was just a matter of sewing them all together. I used this pattern to make the puffs but I chose not to make the ruffle and made a simple binding to go around the edge instead.

If you would like a quilt like this for yourself or someone you know please check out my listing on my Etsy store and I will be happy to design one that is right for you. 

Have you ever made a bubble quilt or had one as a child?


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