Friday, August 1, 2008

The Little Red Chair that Could

When my parents arrived down in Oregon they were a little disappointed that we didn't have any patio furniture so they went to K-Mart and got themselves some chairs and a 'funky table' as my Dad likes to call it. They also bought Ella her own little red chair and it was quite the hit! The little red chair came with us just about everywhere we went the last two weeks. She could get in & out of it herself, which she loved. If we were all sitting around talking she'd climb in it, sit back and gently kick her feet, smile and say 'hi' to us all. And if we were reading she'd try to sit down with a book in her chair, too, but that generally didn't work so well. I guess that leaves her something to work on to show us at Christmas. Ella showing off her chair sitting abilities at the beach house.

Ella taking in the scene at Osborn Aquatic Center (which she loved by the way!).

And Ella and her chair at the beach. She could sit there and dig as long as we would let her!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Summer Sewing Spree II

I finished up yet another baby quilt today. This one I can claim more credit for, the only help I received was in picking out the fabric (thanks Roberta!). Several weeks ago some friends of ours were 'picked' by a birth mother to adopt her unborn son. Just about two weeks ago the baby boy was born...and a weekend was spent waiting, hoping & praying that the adoption would go through...and it did.

The best way for me to wait in such times is to think up a quilt, I guess. I had seen the batik fabric used in this one at the craft store a few weeks ago, I love it because it has little turtles stamped into it (and I'm very into turtles of late). Roberta helped me figure out which fabrics to use with it and I have to admit I love the combination. And I continue to get better at my machine quilting, even with flannel backing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Sewing Spree

It seems I have caught my usual summer sewing bug. I've been busy sewing away. I've even taken over Mark's 'Man Cave' and established my sewing machine and ironing board and I leave fabric strewn everywhere. So far he hasn't had any friends come over so he hasn't yet been embarrassed about this invasion of his manly space.

Anyhow, I recently finished up a quilt. My friend, Melissa, actually picked out all the fabric and made the top several weeks ago and all I had to do was quilt it and get the binding on it so we could get it to our friend, Amanda. I didn't get it done in time for the shower....and when the baby was born last week I figured I really need to get going on this one! So here it is. Really it is Melissa's creation, but I seem to be getting better and better at machine quilting on my machine. I can't do anything other than random stippling well the way it is set up but I seem to be able to do that pretty well.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Kroon Day - Final Report

9 pm

I have checked in with most of the Kroon family. I'm prepared to give my final report....youngest to oldest:

Tillerman - He had to go to basketball practice (regionals is this weekend so you can't skip with something like that on the line - Go Warriors!). But he was making up for it at dinner. He had a bag of candy and a plate of brownies and can of whip cream - and everyone was leaving him alone with his food. This kid and whip cream have quite the history, it wasn't too long ago that he ruled the Junior Achievement group with is business finesse. What was he selling? Shots of whip cream, and if you paid extra you got sprinkles. Genius I tell you!

Keeton - His Kroon Day was a bit dampened by needing to work. He can cancel tutoring sessions but not classes he is supposed to teach. But he did make it in & out of Anchorage twice, managing to fit in donuts at the Donut King and good old Super Nintendo video games!

Brittney - She has fully mastered Kroon Day this year! She slept in until 11 am then went to get donuts with Keet. She then went home and watched t.v. and drank Dr. Pepper. She then went to coach a basketball practice (have I mentioned b-ball is a very Kroon thing?) and wrapped the day up with the rest of them at the Windbreak Cafe.

Teagen - Teags had a rough Kroon Day - he's been working like crazy as a substitute teacher and fell asleep on the couch (which is a very Kroon-like thing). Luckily the rest of the family called to wake him up and come to dinner!

Mom & Dad - I didn't get much of a report other than the Toyota is on the road. But really, what more is there to say than that?

Uncle Loren & Aunt Pam - These guys actually had to work this year! Bummer deal! Good thing Aunt Pam will be retired next year, I'm sure she'll be skiing for Kroon Day. Uncle Loren did branch out this year - with candy grab bags & REI grab bags for everyone (it is incentive to make sure we're in AK for Kroon day next year!). They are enjoying themselves at the Windbreak Cafe as we speak - but eating salads - I guess that is alright as long as Tillerman is at his end of the table enjoying his 'brownie salad.'

I don't have a report from the Keplan Kroons or the Ben Kroons - but I'm sure they have celebrated well in their own way.

I have not sent any cards or gifts yet - but will be doing that soon. I was spoiled enough by my dear friend, Mel, she had dinner with me (where I consumed my Henry's root beer in honor of Kroon Day) - Thanks Mel!

Mark is slowly coming around to the Kroon Day idea - he's eating his donut and Mel sent him a package to help him get in the Kroon Day spirit!

The plans have begun for next year already. There is talk of the Lucky Wishbone being the new dinner joint -very very very Kroon like. Fried chicken, biscuits and Oreo milkshakes. Perfect. Although Uncle Loren said it will be hard to pass up the bar at the Windbreak Cafe - the two t.v.s and radio going adds the perfect ambiance (and keeps Dad's prayer short I guess).

Well that is it for Kroon Day 2008. Don't be afraid to start planning now for next year.

Happy Kroon Day to All and to All a Good Night!

Kroon Day Update II

4 pm

The Toyota is back on the road.

If you do not know what 'The Toyota' is I will give you a brief background. Several years ago my Dad purchased a beautiful red Toyota pick-up truck that he loves dearly and zooms around in. Also several years ago Leslie and I watched that dear truck get hit by an flying car in Hatcher Pass. Thankfully Wes Keller pulled the bumper out of the wheel well for us and taped the headlight back on (with duct tape of course).

Insurance didn't total the Toyota then, they repaired it much to my Dad's relief. This fall, however, the Toyota began having engine trouble. So Dad and a friend decided to rebuild the engine........and three months later it is back on the road - just in time for Kroon Day!

Dad did miss out on the Kroon Day Donut Banquet at the Donut King to work on the engine, but he figured that was okay. Apparently Donut King is a donut shop worthy of a Kroon Day Donut Banquet - they have even let Uncle Loren in the back to fill his own donuts! They know how to keep their #1 customer happy there!

The AK Kroons are congregating at the Windbreak Cafe - this evening - nothing like greasy burgers to top the day off!

I'll give my final report when I get home today! Keep on celebrating folks! A day like this only comes around once a year.....the folks I work with are already planning their own far there has been talk of a Gates day (to take place later this week - skipping 1/2 a day of school to go skiing - way to go Gates family) and a Bailey Day (although they are aiming for a weekend - they'll figure it out eventually).

Initial Kroon Day Report

The 10:00 AM Report:

I have stopped at Gramma Damma Donuts already and purchased my loot. The number one indicator that this is an excellent donut shop: the girl behind the counter & I were the only two under the age of 70 in the store - everyone was sitting around with brown mugs of coffee and red baskets of donuts. Classic.

Reports came in over the weekend: Leslie was planning a stop at Top Pot donuts in Seattle. Way to go Leslie! We'd hate for that place to go un-visited on Kroon Day. Aunt Karyl was headed to a local Olympia donut shop (or Safeway at a minimum) we knew we could count on her! The Larry Kroons were planning a donut banquet....they do know how to celebrate Kroon Day. Keeton was cancelling two tutoring appointments to be able to fully relish in the Kroon Day celebrations......

My plans have shaped up more fully: Mel & I are going to dinner at Marzinni's - although no steak will be consumed I can drink a bottle of Henry Wienhart's Root beer there and nothing is more Kroon like than that (anyone at my wedding knows that!).

Hope everyone else is getting their Kroon Day off to a great start!

Friday, February 29, 2008

In Preparation

For those of you who did not know - we are soon approaching a very important annual holiday - Kroon Day. March 3 to be exact.

Here is a short refresher course on Kroon Day:

It was determined (by Teagen, Keeton & Sarah I believe) that once a year Kroons should just celebrate being Kroons. As there is no Kroon birthday in the month of March it was selected as the optimal month for Kroon Day (I'm not sure why July & August were passed over, but I usually don't understand everything).

Kroon Day is designated as a day where Kroons are to do 'All Things Kroon.' This generally constitutes eating donuts, watching movies that fit the 'Kroon' motif (The Good, The Bad & The Ugly would be the ulitmate Kroon movie - but most of us can only watch that one once). On Kroon Day all Kroons should call one another and wish each other 'Happy Kroon Day' and all Kroon kids exchange cards & nominal gifts. Dinner plans are best to include either (1) a meal cooked by a Kroon Mom or (2) a nice steak dinner. And such activities as biking or skiing (or kyaking for the Loren Kroons) are also to be included as much as possible.

I'm giving you all warning so that you can participate in Kroon Day if you would like. We are not exclusive and we do not restrict participation. Feel free to partake in any of the above activities as part of 'Kroon Day.'

As Mark is not a big fan of Kroon Day (yet) if anyone would like to participate in Kroon Day with me let me know, I would appreciate the company. As it stands right now, I plan on at least engaging my office in Kroon Day with a box of Gramma Damma's donuts on Monday morning (note to all non-Kroon celebrators out there - donut shop donuts are the ideal selection for Kroon Day - if possible linger as long as you can in the donut shop and drink either coffee or chocolate milk with your donuts).

Now I'm going to work on a plan to sneak a bite or two of donut to Logan....he's young and impressionable and I'm sure the prime candidate to become my fellow Kroon Day celebrator!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Orange Bread

I have been eating at least one orange a day for the last two weeks or so. They are just so good this time of year. I was saving my orange peels in the freezer for quite awhile to make an old favorite treat of mine, Orange Bread. I had to get the recipe from my Mom, and it was a bit more complex than I had thought, but the result was worth it! Here is the recipe if you want to try it (note: you can make enough Candied Orange Peel at one time to make several loaves of bread and just freeze it in 1 c portions).

Orange Bread
1 c. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Egg
1 c. Milk
3 c. Flour
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 c. Candied Orange Peel (below)

Mix & bake in loaf pan at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (My Mom is the queen of concise recipe instructions).

Candied Orange Peel

Shred orange peel in a food chopper (I use a food processor and my Mom uses the Kitchen Aid fine chopper attachement, and it works well if they are slightly frozen). Cover with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then pour off water. Repeat two more times. Take equal parts of orange peel and sugar. Boil down (until thick and sticky), then cool and store. Freezes well.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cole's 'Under Construction' Quilt

This summer I found some great little boy fabric in a quilt store (the border fabric below). I was really excited since we were expecting two new little boys in our family this fall! I bought it and then I found the perfect fabric to match at another quilt store (the center of the squares). I worked on this quilt through the fall and gave it to baby Cole for Christmas. You can see how much he loves it in the bottom picture. The part I am proudest of, though, is the fact that I did the machine quilting myself, on my own machine (and no, my Mom was not here to help, I was completely on my own). I just hope it holds together well!